The Crazy Reason This Man Was Rejected by Airbnb

May 10th 2016

Taylor Bell

Apparently, it's really hard to get an Airbnb room reservation when you're Black.

Just ask 25-year-old Greg Selden. He recently tweeted his story about getting turned down from a racist Airbnb host.

Greg Selden

When Selden first attempted to rent a room from a potential host, he was told it was unavailable. He was about to accept his fate and move on when he noticed that the room was still advertised for the dates that he requested.

That's when he decided to create two fake profiles of white men with similar information to his own. He wanted to see if his skin color was to blame.

Amazingly, the fake profiles were accepted by the same host who rejected him.

Eventually, Selden confronted the man and exposed the host's discrimination.

Greg Selden Airbnb conversation

Although Selden understands Airbnb hosts reserve the right to reject any guests they choose, he wished that he was given a fair shake.

“I just wish the determining factor had to do with something other than my skin color,” Selden told BuzzFeed.

Though Selden reported the incident to Airbnb, the company did not respond to him.

However, a spokesperson for Airbnb told BuzzFeed that they were taking steps to work on discriminatory practices by their users.

“We recognize that bias and discrimination present significant challenges, and we are taking steps to address them. Profile photos are an important part of our community and are one of the many tools that help hosts and guests connect with one another. We welcome the opportunity to work with anyone that can help us reduce potential discrimination in the Airbnb community.”

Selden is not the first person of color to report racist practices while using Airbnb.

Black Airbnb users have been posting their run-ins with discrimination using the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack.

As ATTN: previously reported, it's 16 percent harder for Black Airbnb users to find lodging, according to a January study by Harvard Business School. Researchers found that "Black-sounding" names such as Jamal and Tanisha were accepted less by Airbnb renters even if they were Black themselves.