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UNITE HERE Local 11 Urges Hollywood Award Circuit to Boycott Chateau Marmont

·3-min read

Criticism escalates following worker allegations of unfair treatment at the storied Hollywood party venue

California’s largest hospitality worker union sent a letter asking award organization presidents to issue public statements asking their participants and affiliates to not patronize the Chateau Marmont during the upcoming awards event season, and to stand with its laid-off workers by boycotting the hotel.

In the letter, Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, the union that has been supporting the laid-off workers, said, "We understand that the Chateau Marmont holds a special place in Hollywood, and we believe that its workers deserve similar esteem."

The ask of Hollywood awards circuit to boycott the Chateau Marmont comes as the Academy Awards are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles at the end of April.

"As someone who served guests during events, most commonly award show after-parties, it would mean the world to me for these same shows to stand with us in our fight for dignity and respect," said Keisha Banks, former events server at the Chateau Marmont.

Chateau Marmont workers announced the boycott of their hotel last month, when dozens of workers and their allies caravanned outside the hotel. Workers are asking the public to boycott the hotel until it demonstrates a commitment to respecting their years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and to ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect.

In response to the workers’ appeals, Hollywood luminary Jane Fonda and Oscar-winning film director Alfonso Cuarón have signed on to the boycott. Other prominent actors who have pledged to boycott the Chateau Marmont include Edie Falco, Lena Headey, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Bilderback, Thomas Sadoski, and Alison Pill. Rage Against the Machine guitarist, Tom Morello, tweeted his support of the workers late last week. A growing number of Hollywood and community leaders have also voiced their support for the Chateau workers and their campaign for justice and accountability. This list includes SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris and the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women.

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at "Hollywood’s Playground," prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott. Former worker Thomasina Gross filed a lawsuit in January alleging that she experienced race discrimination and sexual harassment while working at the hotel.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.

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Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 |