Airbnb removes ‘slave cabin’ Mississippi rental
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed the property’s location. It has been edited to reflect the correct location in Greenville, Mississippi.
(NEXSTAR) — Airbnb has removed a listing in Greenville, Mississippi after backlash over its advertisement as an “1830s slave cabin,” where enslaved people previously lived on a plantation.
The cabin sits beside a 9,000-square-foot mansion with nine bedrooms, circa 1857, the Washington Post reports. Per screenshots of the now-deleted listing, the home was advertised as “the last remaining antebellum mansion standing” in the area.
The cabin, known as Panther Burn Cabin, was renovated into a luxury getaway, according to New Orleans civil rights attorney Wynton Yates. A TikTok video by Yates calling out the listing wracked up over 2 million views.
“The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied — and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot,” Yates said in his original video. Airbnb removed the post shortly after.
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said in a statement. “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.”
In an additional statement to the Washington Post, the cabin’s owner, Brad Hauser, said he took ownership of the property last month and that he “strongly opposed” the previous owner advertising the cabin this way. Hauser said the cabin was actually used as the plantation doctor’s office and never housed slaves, however, the previous owner chose to advertise that it did.
Hauser said he was only recently made aware of the listing, which he called “crazy” and “insulting.”
“I am not interested in making money off slavery,” said Hauser.
“I intend to do all I can to right a terrible wrong and, hopefully, regain advertising on Airbnb so The Belmont can contribute to the most urgent demand for truth telling about the history of not only the South but the entire nation,” Hauser said in a statement.
In one of his follow-up videos, Yates urges visiting plantations that are preserved as museums and tell the horrors of slavery from the perspective of those who lived it.
Airbnb said it’s currently working to remove any listings advertised as slave quarters, in addition to developing new policies around properties with any ties to slavery.
The use of plantation properties has come under increasing scrutiny, as some have become popular wedding and event venues — a highly criticized practice that has placed pressure on wedding-sites like Zola and The Knot to remove posts romanticizing plantation weddings and aesthetics. In 2020, stars Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively apologized for their South Carolina plantation wedding in 2012, saying “What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy.”
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