Airbnb Removes “Slave Cabin” Listing After Viral TikTok
The controversial listing was brought to light after Wynton Yates, a Black attorney from New Orleans, posted a TikTok about it.
Airbnb pulled a listing from its website that advertised a property where enslaved people once resided, after a viral TikTok called out the post for advertising the lodging as a “slave cabin.”
The property, located at the Belmont Plantation in Greenville, Mississippi, is called the Panther Burn Cottage. The listing was brought to light after Wynton Yates, a Black attorney from New Orleans, posted a Tiktok about it on July 29. As of August 2, the video has received 2.6M views.
“This is not okay, in the least bit,” Yates said in his video. “This is an 1830s slave cabin that is up on Airbnb as a bed and breakfast … The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied, and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.”
“Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Okay maybe this will give people insight on how enslaved people had to live — their living conditions,” Yates continued, before pointing out the interior is completely different than what enslaved people living there would’ve experienced. “No, not at all. Clawfoot tub, running water, tile, you know, nice lighting fixtures, water, towels, dresser.”
Airbnb has since taken the listing down and plans to remove “listings that are known to include former slave quarers in the United States.”
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” Airbnb 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.”
The glorification of plantations has been a recurring problem in recent years. In 2019, two popular wedding-planning platforms, Pinterest and The Knot, elected to alter their company policies to cease promoting wedding venues and content that romanticized antebellum-era plantations.
One particularly high-profile example involved Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ 2012 wedding. The couple held their wedding at Boone Hall, a former plantation in South Carolina. After staying relatively quiet on the issue for several years, Reynolds addressed it in a 2020 interview with Fast Company, calling the choice of venue “something we’ll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for.”