- Hospitality workers are urging Jay-Z to move his Oscars party out of the Chateau Marmont hotel.
- The hotel is being boycotted over allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, and labor violations.
- Jay-Z and Beyoncé last held the star-studded “Gold Party” at the hotel in 2020.
Hospitality workers and Black community leaders are urging Jay-Z to move his annual Oscars night “Gold Party” from the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles after the hotel was recently accused of labor violations, sexual harassment, and racial discrimination.
In recent years, Jay-Z’s after-party has become a hot spot for stars after the Oscars, which is set to air Sunday on ABC. Prior to this year’s bash, Beyoncé is set to perform her song “Be Alive” from the movie “King Richard,” which is nominated for best original song.
The event was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic, but the couple’s previous parties at the Chateau Marmont welcomed celebrities like Rihanna, Adele, and Reese Witherspoon.
Former workers and Black clergy leaders held a press conference outside Roc Nation’s Hollywood office on Friday, where they urged Jay-Z to move the party to another location. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pastor William D. Smart Jr., president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, spoke at the press conference. Smart told Insider that it’s unfortunate Jay-Z hasn’t responded in any way to “the [workers’] tears.”
Representatives for Jay-Z and Roc Nation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Stars may have to cross the picket line to attend the Gold Party
According to THR, 248 employees at the hotel were laid off at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 without severance packages or health insurance. In a press release shared with Insider, Unite Here Local 11, a Southern California hospitality workers’ union, said that lawsuits have been filed by Black former staffers against the hotel, citing discrimination and sexual harassment. The union also said that a picket line is being planned for the party at the hotel on Sunday, where stars may have to cross in order to enter the party.
THR reports that Adrian Jules filed a lawsuit against the hotel in 2020. The former guest relations employee said his complaints against a co-worker were disregarded after he received explicit texts from a white female colleague. He said that the colleague was inebriated and her text messages were unsolicited.
Thomasina Gross, formerly an events server at the hotel, filed a lawsuit in 2021, according to THR. In the suit, Gross said she experienced retaliation, harassment, racial discrimination on the job. Gross added that she was repeatedly passed over for higher-paying roles in favor of white hires, who she then had to train, according to the outlet.
According to THR, a third lawsuit was filed in 2021 by April Blackwell, a Black employee who worked at the hotel’s front desk. According to the outlet, Blackwell said she experienced racist interactions involving guests, and didn’t receive support from her superiors. One of Blackwell’s managers was Amanda Grandinetti, who previously apologized after the outlet reported she directed racist comments at employees.
Kurt Peterson, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, told Insider that the hotel is a “pariah” that shouldn’t be patronized because of the allegations of mistreatment. Peterson estimates that “Black or Brown” workers make up 70% of the hotel staff. He confirmed that the union has tried to reach out to Jay-Z and his representatives, but has not received a response.
“The hotel has been a bad employer. They exploited the pandemic and attempted to remake their workforce,” Peterson said. “Everyone in good conscious has sided with the workers. Hopefully, Jay-Z will too.”
Chateau Marmont disputes the allegations of employee mistreatment
A spokesperson for the Chateau Marmont, which is not unionized, told Insider that more than 40 former employees have been re-hired.
“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 Chateau Marmont told Insider. “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.”
—UNITE HERE Local 11 (@UNITEHERE11) March 25, 2022
Several celebrities have shown their support for the boycott, including Issa Rae, Jane Fonda, and Gabrielle Union.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Aaron Sorkin’s movie “Being the Ricardos,” and the Paramount+ series “The Offer,” canceled plans to film at the hotel amid the boycott.