Comedian and actor Mark Curry, widely known for his starring role on the 1990s sitcom, “Hanging With Mr. Cooper,” posted a video to his Instagram that appeared to show him being racially profiled in a hotel in Colorado.
In the video, which was posted on Friday, Curry records two men who he says approached him while he was sitting in a hotel lobby in The Mining Exchange A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa in Colorado Springs.
One of the men, who is white, was not displaying any identification but claimed he was an employee at the hotel and repeatedly asked Curry if he was a guest there. The other man, who was of color, claimed Curry was trying to pull “the race card” — a quip that prompted Curry to call that person an “Uncle Tom.”
Curry did not answer the question being repeatedly asked of him likely in an effort to make an example of what he called “racism.”
The video lasts 26 minutes and was filmed all because of a “Black man and a Hotel Lobby,” Curry wrote on his Instagram post, suggesting the purported hotel employees thought “it’s impossible that he has a room here.”
He expressed a similar sentiment in the video by saying to his hundreds of thousands of followers: “If you’re Black and you’re in Colorado Springs, you can’t be in the lobby. Wow! This is crazy, isn’t it?”
When Curry tried to use the restroom in the lobby, he was physically blocked from entering.
When the two men were joined by other employees, Curry said he felt “threatened.”
Later, the hotel manager issued a quasi-apology for the way hotel employees treated a patron and insisted employees would be retrained, presumably in the arena of implicit bias.
“We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive space for all guests and employees. We deeply regret this incident and have reached out to Mr. Curry to offer not only our sincere apologies but a full refund of his stay and an invitation to return, at no cost, anytime in the future,” Neil Cramm said in a statement to the Colorado Springs Indy, a local news outlet. “As a respected community partner, we are also using this opportunity to revisit training with our staff, helping to ensure all interactions are reflective of our company values. The Mining Exchange plays a special role in the Colorado Springs community and we will continue working each and every day to ensure that our hotel remains a space that is open and welcoming to all.”
Watch the full video below.
Actress Holly Robinson Peete, who co-starred with Curry on “Hanging With Mr. Cooper,” tweeted that she was “sending love” to Curry for being subjected to “awful profiling harassment.”
Curry implored his followers to contact the hotel as well as demand accountability for Jhon Crab, the hotel’s head of security and maintenance who confronted the comedian.
The phone number for The Mining Exchange A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa is 719-323-2000.
Sadly, racial profiling — especially in hotels — is nothing new.
This past September, Kahlil Robert Irving — a famed Black artist — filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Division after he says he was racially profiled by staff members at The High Line Hotel in New York City. The complaint says that on the morning of January 22nd, Irving was sleeping in his hotel room when two employees, both white men, used a keycard to enter his room and demanded he leave the premises immediately. Hotel staff allegedly threatened police intervention, and accused Irving “of being a homeless person who had broken into the room.”
Four years earlier, a Black man who was a guest at a DoubleTree in Portland, Oregon, accused the hotel’s security guard of racial profiling for calling the police to have him removed for loitering.
This is America.
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