A global hotel chain is facing calls for a boycott after one of its properties hosted a conference with a stage design that resembled a Nazi symbol.
Photos of the stage design soon went viral, with social media users comparing it to that of the Nordic odal rune, a Norse symbol that was used by Nazis during the Second World War. The ceiling of the conference room also included the same pattern.
Social media users, including celebrities, were quick to call for a boycott of the Chicago-based hotel group.
“Hey Hyatt hotels …hosting a fascist Nazi convention is the antithesis of inclusiveness. You have made a grave error in judgment. The imminent boycotts you are going to feel for years to come,” actor Rosanna Arquette tweeted.
Activist Barbara Malmet said she would “boycott the hospitality chain forever”, adding a hashtag of #NeverAgainHyatt.
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) February 28, 2021
The hashtag #NeverAgainHyatt has been used many times on social media.
In a statement, Hyatt said: “We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”
In a later statement, it added: “When we learned that CPAC 2021 stage design had been compared to a symbol of hate, we promptly raised this concern with meeting organisers who strongly denied any connection to such symbols.
“Had we initially recognised 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.”
Chair of CPAC, Matt Schlapp, said that “conspiracies” surrounding the stage design were “outrageous and slanderous”.
“We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community. Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”