A New York couple discovered their hotel bill from a recent Marriott stay emblazoned with an anti-Asian slur. The couple only shared their experience after receiving a lackluster response from the company.
Brooklyn residents Jamie Chung, age 37, and his 35-year-old girlfriend Tierney Oberhammer were shocked to find an anti-Asian slur typewritten on their bill after a stay at a York, Pennslyvania Courtyard Marriott.
Chung shared their story with NextShark, “My girlfriend and I were checking out of the Marriott, and the front desk clerk said my last name, ‘Chung,’ with a strange emphasis, like she was mocking an Asian accent. We clocked it, but decided not to make an issue of it.”
However, when the couple returned to New York they opened their emailed invoice and immediately noticed the company had typewritten the racial slur “Ching and Chong” on the invoice.
“Pretty bold and brazen,” Chung said.
The couple noted that the front desk clerk was a person of color themselves, and the couple was willing to forgive the front desk clerk and even asked that they not be fired.
Chung contacted Marriott and the person they spoke with apologized and reportedly offered hotel points. However, they were unwilling, according to Chung, to answer questions about the sensitivity training the firm claimed to have implemented. Furthermore, they suggested the issue was a result of a typo or clerical issue leaving the couple feeling that Marriott didn’t take the issue seriously.
“The response that we received from Marriott executives was disappointing,” Chung and Oberhammer said to NextShark. “They tried to shift blame and give excuses rather than take responsibility for what happened on their watch, under their roof. They have tried to distance themselves from the incident by pointing out that it occurred at a Marriott franchise.”
In a statement submitted to NextShark the couple stated, “Marriott is a big, powerful company that employs and provides services to a lot of people. What they do and say matters. They need to do better. This is about company culture, training, accountability, basic human decency, and the hypocrisy of Marriott’s inadequate response to racism within their organization, especially given their stated company values.”