Tension between the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and Hyatt hotels is heating up following the conclusion of the conservative conference in Orlando, Florida.
After the hotel released critical statements, it prompted a response from the American Conservative Union (ACU), which accused the hotel of appearing to validate “demonstrably false and malicious claims” advanced by radical leftists devoted to cancel culture.
Several prominent leftists took to social media over the weekend to spread a conspiracy theory, claiming that the main stage looked like a Nazi symbol.”
“This is the stage at CPAC. THEY’RE NOT EVEN TRYING TO HIDE IT ANYMORE,” actress turned left-wing activist Alyssa Milano wrote in an Instagram post, providing a side-by-side picture. “@hyatt, this is what’s happening in your building. @tedcruz, you stood on this stage.”:
View this post on Instagram
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the ACU and lead organizer of CPAC, quickly rejected the leftist claims as “outrageous and slanderous.” Additionally, a Hyatt spokesperson initially defended the hotel’s decision to host the conference. However, Hyatt struck a demonstratively different tone on the final day of the conference, releasing two statements explaining it was “extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues.”
“We are tremendously grateful to our colleagues for their resilience and the care they demonstrated keeping people safe in circumstances that became increasingly difficult as the event evolved,” Hyatt said in a February 28 newsroom release, addressing the concerns over the design of the stage as well and admitting that they did not initially view it as an issue:
When we learned that CPAC 2021 stage design had been compared to a symbol of hate, we promptly raised this concern with meeting organizers who strongly denied any connection to such symbols. Had we initially recognized 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.
Our own values support a culture that is characterized by empathy, respect and diversity of opinions and backgrounds, and we strive to bring this to light through what we do and how we engage with those in our care. We do not always agree with or share the same values as groups hosting meetings and events at our hotels – and while we may not always get it right, we strive to strike the right balance among our customers’ rights to express themselves in their meetings and events, inclusivity and our role in providing meeting facilities.
In another statement, Hyatt attempted to absolve itself of guilt in relation to the controversy over the stage design, contending that the ACU managed “all aspects of event logistics, including the stage design and aesthetics.”
The ACU responded to Hyatt’s lengthy statement, blasting Hyatt for providing “additional statements late last night after the conference ended that disparaged and defamed us.”
“These statements appear to validate demonstrably false and malicious claims,” the statement read:
When we learned of the orchestrated assault on us, we immediately contacted your senior management to set the record straight. Together, we quickly responded to these slanderous accusations. Your hotel’s senior management was on notice and acknowledged that these claims were false and agreed to share any statement before its release. We agreed that coordination was critical so that the general public would know the truth and that you would treat your customer with honesty. Thus, we were shocked that the Hyatt waited until after the conference concluded to issue additional statements–ones that are irresponsible, untrue, and contribute to a climate of division and hatred.
The ACU noted that Hyatt actively “approved and worked collaboratively to build this stage.”
“Only after a coordinated far-left assault to destroy our conference arose did you succumb to lies and compound them with your own,” the letter continued:
Our Jewish Board Members, staff, speakers, and attendees are appalled by the Hyatt leadership for not standing with us as we fight against antisemitism (a term that Hyatt fails to use in its statements). We would have hoped that our 10th annual Shabbat Dinner, daily Jewish prayer services, and speeches on the main stage from Jewish leaders, such as Ambassador David Friedman, Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, and Rabbi Yitz Tendler would be enough to put an end to these outrageous falsehoods.
“The theme of CPAC 2021 was ‘America UnCanceled,'” the statement concluded. “It is tragic and reckless that Hyatt would choose to abandon its own mission statement of inclusivity and play into the hands of those who are attempting to silence legitimate political views.”
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is owned by the Pritzker family. J.B. Pritzker is the Democrat governor of Illinois.