U.S Senator Alex Padilla Announces Support for Workers Boycotting Chateau Marmont
Hollywood Hotel Faces Lawsuits Alleging Sexual Harassment and Race Discrimination by Former Employees
Los Angeles, CA: U.S Senator Alex Padilla (CA) has become the first United States Senator to announce his support for the workers behind the growing boycott of the famed Chateau Marmont.
“As the son of a cook and UNITE HERE Local 11 member, I witnessed firsthand how hard my parents had to work to get ahead. Hospitality workers like those at the Chateau Marmont are the backbone of our state’s economy. I stand alongside the workers as they fight for the dignity and respect they deserve,” said U.S Senator Alex Padilla.
The boycott was launched by workers, UNITE HERE Local 11 and community allies. The boycott calls on the hotel to demonstrate a commitment to respecting workers’ years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect. In May, the California Democratic Party voted to boycott the Chateau Marmont at their annual convention.
After the Chateau Marmont fired over 200 workers in March 2020 because of the pandemic, multiple workers came forward to share experiences of mistreatment, abuse, and a racially stratified workplace.
“As a Latino cook in the back of the house I felt like it was nearly impossible for me or my coworkers to aspire to higher-paid positions. The better paid positions usually went to people that did not look like me.” said Pedro Diaz, cook for 16 years at the Chateau Marmont. “I felt invisible.”
Former workers Thomasina Gross and April Blackwell, both African American women, have spoken out and filed discrimination lawsuits against the Chateau Marmont. The company has since forced their cases into a secretive private arbitration system. They have called on the company to allow their cases to proceed in the public court system and more broadly called for a more fair and equitable workplace.
“I want hotel management to understand that it’s not acceptable to let their workers be harassed and threatened by guests,” said April Blackwell, former night auditor.
The boycott has also garnered support from those in Hollywood like Jane Fonda, Aaron Sorkin, and Spike Lee. In late August, Paramount Plus pulled filming of its miniseries The Offer to stand with workers and most recently multiple Emmy-nominees Issa Rae, Robin Thede, and Samira Wiley also pledged to boycott.