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In These Times - March 30, 2022

Following the awards show in Los Angeles, rapper Jay‑Z hosted a party at the Chateau Marmont hotel, where workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 have been leading a boycott since February 2021 amid allegations of rampant sexual misconduct, racial discrimination and union busting. The billionaire hip hop mogul refused to respond to the union’s requests that he honor the boycott by moving his party to a different venue.

While the world reacted to movie star Will Smith’s altercation with comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night, a different Oscars controversy was brewing — one centering on the struggles of hospitality workers at a hotel that caters to Hollywood elites.

Following the awards show in Los Angeles, rapper Jay‑Z hosted a party at the Chateau Marmont hotel, where workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 have been leading a boycott since February 2021 amid allegations of rampant sexual misconduct, racial discrimination and union busting. The billionaire hip hop mogul refused to respond to the union’s requests that he honor the boycott by moving his party to a different venue.

“We hoped that Jay‑Z would do the right thing and move his party. He had every opportunity to do so. But he made it clear what side he was on. He was not on the side of workers, of Black women, of justice for working people,” said Kurt Petersen, UNITE HERE Local 11 co-president.

Around 75 hotel workers and community allies held a lively picket outside the Chateau during the first two hours of the party Sunday night, from 11pm to 1am, surrounded by a heavy presence of private security and police.

Based on various reports, some celebrities who attended the party despite the highly publicized union boycott included: Rosario Dawson, Janelle Monáe, Zoë Kravitz, Timothée Chalamet, Michael B. Jordan, Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski, Saweetie, Questlove, Daniel Kaluuya, Tiffany Haddish, Tyler Perry, Mindy Kaling, Jon Hamm, DJ Khaled and Kim Kardashian. In These Times reached out to their respective publicists for comment, but none responded. (This piece will be updated with any responses that come in.)

“It is disappointing and frustrating that Jay‑Z, Michael B. Jordan, Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Zoë Kravitz and other Hollywood elites chose to prioritize their party and their fame over real people,” said Keisha Banks, former events server at the Chateau Marmont. ​“It might just be one party to them but these are people’s livelihoods.” ...
Read full report at In These Times