Airbnb hosts have stirred controversy online when they set an upper weight limit for the guests who reserve their place, saying that because of the structure of their building people over 100kg may not book their place. Some have called the hosts ‘fatphobics’ for their explanation.
The initial post does seem problematic, even for those who are not hypersensitive to these issues. In outlining the rules for reservation, hosts Zsu and Marcus said that those with eating disorders and thus are overweight may not reserve their place.
Needless to say, not everyone who is over 100kg has an eating disorder – the description may be conceived as hurtful for both those tackling eating disorders and those who are overweight. Incessant complaints from activists seemed to have succeeded when the post was removed.
However, the place was once again uploaded onto Airbnb. The weight restrictions were still in place, with the hosts merely removing the eating disorder part of the rules and regulations.
Activists such as 22 year old Lindsay McGlone, who identified herself as a fat activist, said the discrimination shown by the hosts infuriated her. She asked that Airbnb forcefully remove the post and ensure that the hosts do not get to post in the future.
On the other hand, the hosts were still adamant in their weight restrictions. After posting pictures that showed the overall structure of the house, they argued that those who are over a certain weight poses a plausible threat to the house.
In the end, the company adjudicated that there Airbnb has zero tolerance for discrimination and hate of any kind. The property that the hosts have uploaded on the website has been removed, although it has not been confirmed if the removal is a permanent one.
When reporters asked the hosts about the whole ordeal, they still refused to back down one bit. They recalled how they told someone who asked about the size of the bath and the door that their place was not suitable for those with disabilities, likening obesity to a disease.
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