Photo Credit: HOLLYWOOD - JANUARY 14: A General View of Atmosphere at the W Hollywood Hotel & Residences Talent Kickoff held at The W Hotel in Hollywood on January 14, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)
Ex-Nightlife Manager Called "Wakanda" & Other Slurs By Racist Customer Is Fired By W Hotel, Now He's Suing
The previous nightlife manager at the W Hollywood has filed a suit against the company after he says he was wrongfully terminated after a confrontation with a racist white customer.
Durand Reeves, a Black man, said he was harassed for almost three hours after he asked the man involved in the incident to leave a VIP section reserved for comedian Michael Blackson.
According to the lawsuit, the customer began using racial slurs, explicit language, and pulled out a fake badge in an attempt to arrest Reeves.
The security who was working that night in the W Hollywood alledgeldy did not intervene while the customer verbally assaulted Reeves and eventually the LAPD was called.
After reviewing the video footage from the hotel, the officers determined the resident was the aggressor during their interaction.
The next day, however, the W Hollywood suspended Reeves because of the police encounter at work and fired him a week later.
The suit revealed that during his employment with W Hotels, he was subject to frequent racially motivated abuse on the job. Reeves allegedly suffered through racist jokes from management, calling him names like “Wakanda.”
“What hurt [sic] the most [after everything I’ve been through] was being told by management that they were going to support me and that I should just ‘take a few days off while they figure it out’ and then to be summarily dismissed because [this clearly racist customer] decided to call the police on me,” Reeves said in a statement. “Any other manager that was not Black would still be working at the W Hollywood today.”
It’s unclear what Reeves is seeking in the lawsuit. He is being represented by Walter Mosley and Nathalie Meza Contreras of Mosley & Associates in Los Angeles, California.