Airbnb is in hot water after a social media user went viral when he revealed that the platform allowed a “slave cabin” to be rented to vacationers.
New Orleans lawyer Wynton Yates posted a TikTok video about a listing for an “1830s slave cabin” in Greenville, Mississippi, that has been rehabbed into a bed and breakfast, which has been viewed more than 2.7 million times.
“This is not okay in the least bit,” he said about “Panther Burn Cottage,” which is located at the Belmont Plantation. “And I know there’s going to be somebody that says, oh you’re looking for controversy where it doesn’t exist. No, this is an 1830’s slave cabin that is up on Airbnb as a bed and breakfast.”
He noted that the listing itself identified the cabin as slaves quarters. “How is this okay in somebody’s mind to rent this out — a place where human beings were kept as slaves — rent this out as a bed and breakfast?” Yates questioned.
The lawyer was particularly disturbed by some of the reviews, one which referred to the cabin as “historic but elegant,” which he sarcastically blasted: “A slave cabin is elegant?”
He pointed out that it could have been possible the cabin may have given people insight to how slaves lived, but shot his theory down when he pointed out the claw foot tub, lighting fixtures, and other luxury amenities.
“The history in this country is constantly being denied and now it’s being mocked by turning into a luxurious vacation spot,” he concluded.
In a follow-up post, he added that the particular slave cabin “was actually moved from a different plantation to the Panther Burn Plantation before they renovated it an subsequently started renting it out.”
On Monday, Airbnb apologized in a statement to the Washington Post. “Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” a spokesman Ben Breit said. “We apologize for any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing, and others like it, and that we did not act sooner to address this issue.”
The company took down the Panther Burn listing and announced that it was “removing listings that are known to include former slave quarters in the United States.”