Looks like Hyatt might have some reservations about hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference again.
The Hyatt Hotels Corporation H, +0.85% released a statement on Sunday night expressing concern about reports that the CPAC stage was shaped like a rune used by the Nazis. It also condemned CPAC guests who disrespected Hyatt staff for attempting to enforce social distancing measures during the ongoing pandemic.
“ “Such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.” ”
A photo of the CPAC stage went viral over the weekend after some Twitter TWTR, -0.74% users compared its shape to a Nordic othala rune, which the Nazis appropriated to “reconstruct a mythic ‘Aryan’ past,” Reuters reported.
So, many social media users bombarded Hyatt’s official Twitter account with requests to cancel the rest of the CPAC, or to address the controversy immediately.
Matt Schlapp, the American Conservative Union chair, called the accusations that the stage was intentionally modeled after a hate symbol “outrageous and slanderous.”
But after former President Donald Trump had finished delivering the CPAC keynote address on Sunday night, Hyatt released the following corporate statement that didn’t exactly give the CPAC a five-star review. It did defend the hotel’s decision to host the conference, however.
“We do not always agree with or share the same values as groups hosting meetings and events at our hotels,” it noted, before describing its company values and culture as respecting a diversity of opinions and backgrounds.
“ “We were extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues.” ”
“When we learned that CPAC 2021 stage design had been compared to a symbol of hate, we promptly raised this concern with meeting organizers who strongly denied any connection to such symbols,” it continued. “Had we initially recognized the potential connections to hate symbolism, we would have proactively addressed it prior to commencement of the event.”
But it explained that it left the controversial stage design as-is because the conference was already under way, and the company was concerned about the safety of colleagues and guests in “what could have been a disruptive situation.”
More from CPAC: This CPAC ‘golden calf’ Trump statue is spurring backlash of biblical proportions
That explanation didn’t sit well with some potential customers, however, who have since threatened to boycott the chain, and led Hyatt Hotels to trend on Twitter over the weekend and on Monday morning.
And in another statement to Reuters, the hotel group said that “all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”
The Sunday night statement also reported that some CPAC attendees had mistreated the Hyatt employees who tried to get them to wear masks and follow the hotel’s safety measures in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than half a million Americans.
Related: ‘Do you miss me yet?’: At CPAC, Trump repeats election lies, says he won’t start third party
It said that “colleagues occasionally faced hostility from attendees who did not support our policies.”
“We were extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues, as it is reflective neither of our own commitment to care for members of the Hyatt family nor of how we wish to conduct business,” it added. “We are tremendously grateful to our colleagues for their resilience and the care they demonstrated keeping people safe in circumstances that became increasingly difficult as the event evolved.”