Photo Credit: Bruna Prado
Black Man Assaulted At Brazil Hotel For Receiving Preferential Service In Diamond Club
A video of a fight between a white couple and Black American man at the Hilton Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil went viral on social media this week.
In an interview with Travel Noire, HL Thompson, the Black man who was assaulted, said the couple tried to “jump” the queue of diamond members line at the hotel, where he was trying to check out.
“I was attacked by the couple because they couldn’t accept the fact that I had preferential service as a diamond client,” Thompson told Travel Noire by phone. “The couple demanded to be waited on first, and I said, ‘no. It is my right as a diamond member.’ Also, the lady was invading my space and I told her to step away from me. She didn’t like it and started to yell at me when nobody intervened.”
In the video, the woman comes at Thompson, even with security guards on the spot. The incident occurred on December 30, 2021.
“When I was trying to defend myself I heard the guy who was with her calling me Ni—er Black guy. He was approaching me, so I acted in self-defense.”
Thompson criticized the hotel for not handling the situation the right way.
“I didn’t see the security trying to stop the lady who was apparently intoxicated. Also, they went to the police to give a false report about the incident.”
In an official statement, the Hilton Hotel said that it is cooperating with the police investigation involving their guests.
Thompson is still in Rio, but will be coming back to the US on January 16.
The American producer said that he has never been in a similar situation in Brazil, a country that he has been visiting since 2005. He compared the case with his own experience as a Black person in the United States.
“I’m aware of the racial disparity in Brazil, but I’ve never dealt with anything at that level here,” he said.
Since the video has been posted on social media, Thompson has been receiving a lot of support from Brazilians on social media. They say he reacted correctly against the man.
“I am so grateful for all the support I’m receiving from Brazilians. They got the message that racial discrimination should not be accepted on any level, by anyone, neither in the United States nor in Brazil. It will not be tolerated, and no one should accept it from anyone.“
“I love this country not only because of the beaches or women, as many people think. I love it here because it is culturally rich. I have many friends in Rio, and I even used to have a house in a favela.”
Through his company Slyfox Fest, Thompson organizes events in Rio, promoting local artists from favelas and connecting the African-American urban culture from New York.