A Brooklyn couple checking into a Marriott hotel in Pennsylvania received a bill with an anti-Asian slur.
Jamie Chung, 37, and girlfriend Tierney Oberhammer, 35, stayed overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott on Concord Road in the city of York on June 13. After their stay, they received an invoice via email with an anti-Asian racist slur. typed into their account.
“My girlfriend and I were checking out at the Marriott, and the clerk said my last name, ‘Chung’, with a strange emphasis, as if she was making fun of an Asian accent. We clocked it, but decided not to make it a problem,” Chung tells NextShark. “We went back to New York, opened the bill and saw that they had written the racist slur ‘Ching and Chong’ on it. Pretty cheeky and cheeky.”
The couple informed Marriott management about the incident. Although their contact apologized and offered hotel points, Chung said they were unable or unwilling to answer questions about the details of the sensitivity training they claimed to have implemented.
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“I want to reiterate that Marriott International is against racism. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respected for their humanity and the distinctive qualities that make them unique,” said Tony Capuano, Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, in a statement. pronunciation regarding Asian hate released in March 2021. “We do this in a number of ways, through internal resources available to our employees that promote respect and kindness, and training designed to create a sense of community and combat unconscious bias.”
Marriott has not released a statement about the racist incident.
“The response we received from Marriott executives was disappointing,” the couple said. “They tried to shift the blame and apologize instead of taking responsibility for what happened on their watch, under their roof. They have tried to distance themselves from the incident by pointing out that it happened at a Marriott franchise.”
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“They suggested an administrative mishap, a typo, which caused their receptionist to enter a racist slur on the bill. Their response did not give us the impression that they are taking this incident seriously,” she added.
Chung, who is of Chinese and Jewish descent, says the receptionist was also a person of color. Although Chung and Oberhammer were willing to forgive the employee, Marriott’s alleged hypocrisy prompted them to share their story. They asked that the clerk not be fired for the racist incident. Instead, they want the international hotel business to take responsibility and understand the culture of racism they uphold when a racist situation is taken lightly.
“Marriott is a large, powerful company that employs many people and provides services. What they do and say is important. They need to do better,” the couple wrote in a statement to NextShark. “This is about corporate culture, training, accountability, basic human decency and the hypocrisy of Marriott’s inadequate response to racism within their organization, especially given their stated corporate values.”
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“There is so much nuance and complexity in this story, including the historical context, that we worry it is being overlooked. It has not escaped our notice that this racist slur was delivered by a fellow POC,” they added. “The last thing we want is for this to exacerbate tensions between minority communities pitted against each other in this country. Racism affects everyone, and we are against it.”
Featured image via Jamie Chung
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