Comedian Mark Curry has accused a Colorado hotel staff member of racially profiling him while he sat in the lobby, an incident that sparked outrage from celebrities and a promise from the establishment to pay him back after the actor posted a video of the alleged encounter on Instagram.
Curry, who starred in ABC’s “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” from 1992 to 1997, was staying at the Mining Exchange in Colorado Springs. He was in town for performances at 3E’s Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday, he said on Instagram.
Curry was drinking coffee when he said the employee asked him if he was a guest. He also informed him that the lobby was private, the comedian said, according to the video.
“Okay. So the problem is I’m in a hotel lobby and this man wants to see, I don’t know,” Curry said at the start of a 26-minute video he shared. with his 221,000 Instagram followers.
“I’m just asking if you’re a guest,” the staffer replied, a question he repeated several times in the video.
NBC News doesn’t know what happened before Curry started recording.
In the video, Curry asked why he was chosen and to see the employee’s ID card.
“If you’re black and you’re in Colorado Springs, you can’t be in the lobby,” he said. “Wow! That’s crazy, isn’t it?
The employee denied the allegation, saying in the video that his question had nothing to do with race.
Curry asked him later in the video why he wasn’t interviewing white guests in the lobby. The clerk said they paid for the drinks.
“So you’re a hotel boss, which I’ve asked you many times,” he told Curry.
The video showed the employee standing in front of Curry with his hands clasped in front of him. A second staff member was next to him.
“So how long are you going to stay here, buddy?” Curry asked.
“Just when you answer my question, sir,” the employee said.
Shortly after, Curry replied, “And I told you, of course, I’m at the hotel. Yes.”
Later, he asked the employee to step back.
“I feel threatened by you, your position and the way you look at me, I feel threatened,” Curry said.
The employee didn’t back down from Curry, who stood up and said, “Let’s see if they follow me.” Let’s go.”
Curry had his camera pointed at him.
“Get it off my face, get it off my face,” the employee said.
Curry went to the front desk to complain and the receptionist told him the employee was an engineer at the hotel.
“Do you have any room number?” Can I have a surname? They just want to know if you’re a guest. That’s all, said the receptionist.
When Curry asked why, the receptionist said, “just for security.”
Curry boarded an elevator and returned to his room.
“I rode this bull— place and these mothers—– want to harass me like this,” he said. “When is it going to stop?”
Curry did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.
In a statement, hotel officials said they “deeply regret this incident” and will “revisit training” with their staff.
“We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive space for all guests and employees,” the statement read. “We deeply regret this incident and have contacted Mr. Curry to offer not only our sincere apologies, but also a full refund for his stay and an invitation to return, free of charge, at any time in the future. As a respected community partner, we also take this opportunity to review training with our staff, helping to ensure that all interactions reflect our company values. »
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts released a similar statement. The Mining Exchange is a Wyndham hotel.
“The hotel owner and management team are working to fix this,” the company said. wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Neither statement clarified whether the exchange between the staff and Curry was normal protocol. The Mining Exchange and Wyndham also did not disclose the identities of the staff members, their roles or any disciplinary action taken against them. They also did not respond to subsequent questions about hotel protocol and employee status in the video.
Curry’s “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” co-star Holly Robinson Peete reposted the actor’s video on Twitter and came to his defense.
“There was no reason for Mark to single out except the fact that he is a black man,” she wrote. “Since when do you have to identify yourself sitting in the lobby drinking coffee.”
Raven-Symoné, who also starred on the sitcom, shared her thoughts under Curry’s Instagram post.
“Shameful! Totally disgusting! I love you mark! No one deserves this!” she wrote.