While Rihanna’s baby-bump was the talk of the stars inside Jay-Z’s fabulous Oscars afterparty at Chateau Marmont, the workers who were picketing outside the storied hotel over alleged staff abuses that resulted in several lawsuits were more concerned with the fact that so many celebrities turned scab and cut right through them to attend the fete.
Jay-Z’s vaunted “Gold Party” post-Oscars bash was last thrown at the Chateau in March of 2020, before the pandemic put it on a two-year hiatus. Coincidentally, according to the union that represents workers accusing the hotel of harassment and discrimination, “In March 2020, the famed Chateau Marmont fired virtually its entire workforce. Workers who dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel were left without job security or affordable healthcare in the middle of the pandemic.”
Unite Here Local 11—the union representing 32,000 hospitality workers across Southern California and Arizona, as well as the Chateau employees—says its boycott of Chateau Marmont was not only honored by two major movie productions which decided to shoot elsewhere, it also has the support of “Gabrielle Union, Issa Rae, Samira Wiley, Robin Thede, Quinta Brunson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, Ashley Nicole Black, Adam McKay [and] David Sirota.”
While those notables stayed away from Jay-Z and Chateau Marmont on Sunday night, folks who cut through or otherwise averted the lines of protesters—not to mention the union’s own DJ and dance party—reportedly include but are not limited to: Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Jon Hamm, Sean Combs, Saweetie, Michael B. Jordan, DJ Khaled, Zoë Kravitz, Winnie Harlow, French Montana and Troy Kotsur.
In a statement from the union—which has successfully campaigned against other exclusive local destinations—former Chateau Marmont events server Keisha Banks said on Monday, “It is disappointing and frustrating that Jay-Z, Michael B. Jordan, Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Zoë Kravitz and other Hollywood elites chose to prioritize their party, and their fame, over real people.”
Banks continued, “It might just be one party to them but these are people’s livelihoods. They could be using their celebrity to get someone like [Chateau owner] Andre Balazs to listen to his workers. Why would they want to be associated with a hotel that discriminates and cheats its employees? I am glad for Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union and others who honored the boycott and who have inspired us to continue speaking up until we win the dignity and respect that we deserve.”
Unite Here Local 11’s Co-President, Kurt Petersen, added, “We hoped that Jay-Z would do the right thing and move his party. He had every opportunity to do so. But he made it clear what side he was on. He was not on the side of workers, of Black women, of justice for working people. The so-called stars skulking into the party was an insult to the brave workers who have risked everything to win respect and dignity at work.”
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