Hyatt is facing anger from both ends of the ideological spectrum after first defending its decision to host the conservative CPAC conference in Orlando over the weekend, then criticizing the organization for its use of a stage that resembled a Nazi symbol. Calls to boycott Hyatt are growing in volume and bipartisan in nature.
Hyatt Faces Fierce Criticism From Right + Left For Its CPAC Actions
In a nutshell, Hyatt managed to offend the left by hosting a conservative political conference then offend the right by criticizing the conservative organization.
Hyatt Defends Decision To Host CPAC In Orlando
Over the weekend, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) took place in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Speakers included many Republican favorites including former President Donald J. Trump.
Hyatt took a lot of heat for agreeing to the host the event, with many on social media urging Hyatt to reconsider and then to boycott Hyatt when it refused. Quite the contrary, Hyatt initially issued the following statement defending its decision to host the event:
“We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company.
“We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours.
“Our own values support a culture that is characterized by empathy, respect and diversity of opinions and backgrounds, and we strive to bring this to light through what we do and how we engage with those in our care.”
Calls For Hyatt Boycott From Left Grow On Social Media
But tweets like this began to pour in:
This is the CPAC stage design below. It is a rune which was used by the SS.
This is the stage from which @tedcruz screeched “freedom.”
— Ben Jackson (@BJacksonWrites) February 27, 2021
Neo-Nazis have been using the Odal Rune sign in place of the swastika for several years.
CPAC’s stage is the same shape.
The pic on the left is from Charlotteville in 2017. pic.twitter.com/6Ylt2U4U3C
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) February 27, 2021
— Brokenroad (@Brokenroad7) February 22, 2021
— No Justice, No Peace! Healing Begins With Justice (@SmcSheila) February 26, 2021
Hyatt Attacks CPAC For Attendee Behavior And Stage Resembling Nazi SS Logo
Hyatt then issued a new statement on Sunday evening, attacking CPAC and its attendees. It noted that Hyatt staff enforced mask and social distancing protocol and this led to many nasty exchanges between attendees and staff:
[W]e 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.
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.
It also condemned the stage design, arguing that it did not have enough time to take more corrective action:
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.
Had we initially recognized the potential connections to hate symbolism, we would have proactively addressed it prior to commencement of the event. Unfortunately, this became clear to us only after the event kicked off.
With CPAC’s denial of any intentional connection to hate symbols and our concerns over the safety of guests and colleagues in what could have been a disruptive situation, we allowed the event to continue. We understand and respect the opinions of those who might disagree with that decision.
Hyatt Further Distances Its Values From CPAC’s
Throughout the note, Hyatt implies that its values do not align with those of CPAC. For instance, Hyatt notes:
- We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours.
- We were optimistic that working with CPAC would reflect our vision of inclusivity…
- [W]e do not always agree with or share the same values as groups hosting meetings and events at our hotels…
Right Wing Social Media Users Urge Hyatt Boycott
While Hyatt’s statement did not satisfy those on the left, it certainly inflamed CPAC and those on the right. In fact, CPAC issued a scathing letter condemning Hyatt and defending itself:
— CPAC 2021 (@CPAC) March 1, 2021
The theme of COAC 2021 was “American UnCancelled.” It is tragic and reckless that Hyatt would choose to abandon its own mission statement of inclusivity and play into the hands of those who are attempting to silence legitimate political views.
Now some on the right are also calling for a boycott of Hyatt:
I like staying at Hyatt Hotels. But I will never stay at another Hyatt now. #boycottHYATT
— RN961 (@HedgesTena) February 27, 2021
Others want to boycott Hyatt because it enforced its mask policy:
Hyatt didn’t have to agree to host. #boycotthyatt.
— Ben Weiner (@bweiner59) February 26, 2021
Hyatt managed to succeed in offending both sides. Calls for boycott are growing louder and battle lines are hardening.
What do you think about Hyatt’s position concerning CPAC?