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JAY-Z Faces Backlash for Hosting Oscars After-Party at Hotel Amid Boycott

Written by on March 23, 2022

All that glitters isn’t gold.

JAY-Z is once again set to host his annual Oscars after-party, dubbed the Gold Party, at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood on Sunday. This comes amid an ongoing boycott of the famed Sunset Strip hotel over its alleged treatment of employees, including claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The boycott, led by the hotel workers’ union, has received the backing of Hollywood unions and celebrities including Gabrielle Union, Spike Lee, and Issa Rae.

“For JAY-Z to choose the Chateau Marmont for their Gold Party is shockingly insensitive,” Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, told The Hollywood Reporter. “They must move their event and choose an after-party hot spot that treats its workers, especially Black women, with dignity and respect. JAY-Z has a responsibility to do better.”

Added Petersen, “We hope JAY-Z joins Gabrielle Union, Spike Lee, Issa Rae, Robin Thede, Quinta Brunson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, Ashley Nicole Black and Samira Wiley in boycotting Chateau Marmont.”

A 2020 investigation, published by The Hollywood Reporter, documented the Chateau’s “culture of prejudice,” including its treatment of Black and Latino visitors who were stopped and questioned on arrival at a higher rate than their white equivalents.

Thomasina Gross, a former server at the hotel who is Black, sued the Chateau for racial discrimination and sexual harassment in 2021, alleging that she had been repeatedly passed over for higher-paying roles in favor of white hires.

“I’m a huge fan of Beyoncé and JAY-Z, so working at their Gold Party year after year was such an honor and pleasure. They made it a point to acknowledge our hard work and treated us like human beings, not just servers,” Gross said. “As I allege in my lawsuit I faced sexual harassment as a Black woman while working other events at Chateau. I can’t help but think if JAY-Z knew how Chateau treats their workers, they wouldn’t ignore this fact and continue to throw parties there.”

The Gold Party is set to be held at the Chateau’s lounge space that was once home to Bar Marmont. Rihanna, Diddy, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Travis Scott attended the 2020 event, which was held in the hotel’s parking garage.

The union plans to organize a picket line outside of the party on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Beyoncé is slated to open Sunday’s Oscars telecast with her Oscar-nominated song “Be Alive” from King Richard. The performance will reportedly take place at the Compton tennis courts where a young Venus and Serena Williams practiced with their father, Richard.