Want to party with Jay-Z and Beyonce at the iconic Chateau Marmont after the Oscars? Well, you might get your Manolos dirty crossing a picket line.
A local hotel workers union is leading a boycott of the property to protest its alleged mistreatment of employees via racial discrimination, sexual misconduct, and other labor violations, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Chateau Marmont, which has denied claims of discrimination and harassment, also got rid of much of its workforce at the beginning of the pandemic, allegedly without giving severance or extended health insurance, according to Vulture. (The hotel, which is not unionized, told the Daily Beast that it later rehired as many as 50 workers, and some workers have opted not to come back.)
All of this puts the Carters’ famed “Gold Party” in a bit of a pickle, according to the Hollywood Reporter, particularly since the worker-led campaign has the support of celebs. A picket line outside the party venue is planned for 8 p.m. Sunday, the Hollywood Reporter wrote, which could leave Hollywood’s elite—pre-pandemic attendees included Rihanna, Adele, and Kim Kardashian—in the uncomfortable position of appearing to go against workers.
“For Jay-Z to choose the Chateau Marmont for their Gold Party is shockingly insensitive,” Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, the local hotel workers union, said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “They must move their event and choose an afterparty hot spot that treats its workers, especially Black women, with dignity and respect. Jay-Z has a responsibility to do better.”
A Black guest-relations employee at the hotel filed a lawsuit in December 2020 alleging his superiors failed to properly handle an incident in which he received unsolicited, sexually explicit messages from a white colleague. Another Black employee filed a lawsuit in January of last year over allegations that she’d been passed over for promotions to higher-paying jobs, which were later given to white employees, despite her experience with the hotel, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
One ex-worker who plans to be at the picket line Sunday, a housekeeper who made just over $15 an hour before he was laid off in March 2020, also told the Guardian he was injured while setting up the last Gold Party; a glass coffee table shattered and he got glass shards in his eye, though he later made a full recovery.
“I just want Jay-Z to support us,” the ex-employee told the Guardian. “Every time they go to the hotel, we serve them, we get whatever they want and we’re there for them. So they have to be there for us.”
The mayor pro tempore of West Hollywood, Sepi Shyne, also told the Daily Beast that “it is my hope that Jay-Z moves his afterparty and joins the many leaders in entertainment that have chosen to courageously stand with the many workers who are the backbone of our community.”
The Carters aren’t the first celebs to be pressured into canceling an event there. Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos canceled a film shoot at the hotel last year to avoid running afoul of the workers, and The Offer, a Paramount Plus miniseries, also scrapped plans to shoot there over the labor dispute, according to Deadline.
“These meritless allegations are all unproven, for one simple reason: They were manufactured in lawsuits bought and paid for by Unite Here Local 11 as part of their targeted efforts to unionize Chateau Marmont,” a spokesperson for the hotel told the Daily Beast. “Contrary to the bogus claims in these already-dismissed, union-backed sham filings, Chateau Marmont has a long and well-documented history of diversity and inclusion among both our employees and our guests.”
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