The ‘Color Purple’ star posted about an alleged racial profiling incident at her Airbnb over the weekend.
Fantasia Barrino is sharing a recent Airbnb experience that she claims was fueled by racial prejudice. On Sunday, The Color Purple star wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that she “can’t stay quiet on how my family and I were just treated” by a host who allegedly tried to kick the singer and her loved ones out of the property.
The GRAMMY winner alleged that the Airbnb host “accused us of having a party with loud noises outdoors” because they saw vendors dropping off balloons and a game truck. She shared that the rental was near a lake but did not disclose anything further about the property’s location. Barrino also claimed that she and her family followed guidelines for how many guests could visit the property.
“They never said we weren’t allowed to have any company over!!” she wrote in her post, describing several of the rental’s entertaining features, including an outdoor fire pit, a jacuzzi and a “well-equipped” game room. “It’s evident from the sayings on the wall to the outdoor fire pit/jacuzzi and a well-equipped game room in the garage/poker table that people Hosts parties and/or gatherings here on the lake often as there were weights with balloon ribbon left in the garage from a previous party at the house.”
“It’s evident to me this was racial profiling and the treatment we received was due to the color of our skin,” she wrote. “I wanted my son to enjoy his friends (10-12) year old and make him feel special … This time, I dare not stay quiet.”
ET reached out to Airbnb for comment.
Barrino’s allegations are far from the first claims of racial prejudice against the vacation rental company. A report published last year by Project Lighthouse — a data analysis campaign launched by Airbnb to “uncover, measure and overcome discrimination in a privacy-protected manner” — found that Airbnb guests perceived to be Black or people of color are less successful in booking properties of their choice than customers perceived to be white.
“This report is neither the end nor the beginning, but rather a reaffirmation of an ongoing commitment to combat discrimination,” the company said in response to the report. “We continue to strive to be a community through which everyone can form meaningful connections with people from other backgrounds, cultures and geographic regions, and where no person is discriminated against.”
The company is continuously facing backlash for a variety of issues, including surging prices and hidden costs. Major cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, have also cracked down on regulations on short-term rental properties.
In her post, Barrino explained that she wanted to make her son feel special since she’s been away promoting the highly-anticipated musical film, The Color Purple, for over a month.
Called a “revival” by producer Oprah Winfrey, the Blitz Bazawule-directed film is a reimagining of the story made iconic in the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, the 1985 Warner Bros. Pictures film and the Tony Award-winning stage musical. It tells the powerful and heartbreaking story of Celie, a young Black woman living in the South from the early to mid-1900s, who finds strength in an extraordinary sisterhood and unbreakable bond.
Barrino makes her major motion picture debut by reprising the role of adult Celie, which she first portrayed in her Broadway debut in 2007 and earned her a Theatre World Award. Danielle Brooks stars alongside her as Sofia, a role she played on Broadway during the 2015 revival production, earning her a Tony Award nomination.
The star-studded cast includes Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, Colman Domingo as Mister, Phylicia Mpasi as Young Celie, Corey Hawkins as Harpo, H.E.R. as Squeak, Louis Gossett Jr. as Ol’ Mister, David Alan Grier as Reverend Avery, Tamela J. Mann as First Lady, Halle Bailey as Young Nettie, Ciara as Adult Nettie, Deon Cole as Alfonso and Stephen Hill as Buster.