Comedian Mark Curry says he was racially profiled at Colorado Springs hotel


Comedian and actor Mark Curry said he was racially profiled and harassed Friday at The Mining Exchange, a Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa, in Colorado Springs.

The 61-year-old former star of the ABC sitcom ‘Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper’ posted a 26-minute video on Instagram from Dec. 9 that showed him being locked in by hotel staff in the lobby , repeatedly asked if he was a guest and then followed down the lobby after a bizarre check-in experience, he said.

Curry had traveled to Colorado Springs to perform at 3E Comedy Club and was with 3E CEO Eric Phillips at the time of taping, according to the Colorado Springs Independent. Curry believes he was harassed and racially profiled because he was black.

Curry and Phillips did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Trouble started, Phillips told The Independent, after asking a receptionist about The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. “The girl there she said she wasn’t safe to answer the question and another woman thought that meant she wasn’t safe with the black man standing at the counter “, said Phillips.

The following Instagram video of Curry was quickly picked up by TMZ, The Daily Beast, BET, Entertainment Weekly and at least a dozen other news and entertainment publications. It starts with him sitting in the lobby, which was buzzing with activity as an employee repeatedly asked him if he was a guest – despite having just checked in.

“Let’s check your status to find out whether or not you’re staying at the hotel,” the man said.

“But there’s a lot of white people sitting there,” Curry replied. “Let’s go ask them.”

The white employee, who carries no identification and is eventually joined by a black employee, said the other people were buying drinks and were therefore allowed to be there. Curry asked if he would be considered OK to be in the lobby if he bought a drink. The man said yes – that he would then be considered a hotel guest, “which I have asked you many times,” the employee said.

“They got me guys locked up,” he said on his camera phone. “I feel threatened. … Look at the position. You scare me, sir. The employee does not respond to several requests from Curry to back up.

Curry then began live-streaming her Instagram video, eventually racking up around 100,000 views and over 5,000 comments. The video showed the two employees following him as he walked around the hotel, and other employees ignoring his attempts to ask if they worked there.

A woman at reception doesn’t seem to recognize him as he complains about being followed. She asked him if he was a hotel guest.

“You didn’t record me?” Curry asks her in the video. He refuses to say if he is a guest, having already checked in. He is the only black man in the lobby and no other guests are harassed, he said.

She said he was being followed for “security”.

Curry identified the white employee who harassed him in the lobby as John Cramm, “the facility’s certified director of engineering and safety,” according to the Independent. He was the first to ask to see Curry’s room key to justify his presence. In his Instagram post, Curry encouraged people to call the hotel and complain about Cramm and his racism.

“When is it going to stop?” Curry asked after getting off the elevator and going to his room, where he continued to live-stream the incident.

Employees at The Mining Exchange did not respond to multiple calls or immediately return emails Monday morning. Representatives for Wyndham Hotels did not respond to requests for comment. Callers were unable to leave voicemails as all available inboxes on the menu were full and calls to the hotel reservations line were looping back on themselves.

“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,” reads the statement. a statement emailed to The Denver Post and attributed to General Manager Neil Cramm. The letter promised to “revisit training with our staff, helping to ensure that all interactions reflect our company values. …”

Curry declined to comment over the phone to CS Indy and said he was speaking to an attorney.

Actress Holly Robinson Peete poses with actor and comedian Mark Curry on her newly unveiled Hollywood Walk of Fame star during a ceremony in Hollywood, California on June 20, 2022. (Photo by Frederic J Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

The 3E Comedy Club’s Instagram account on Monday was filled with posts about the incident, with one commenter tagging the hotel and asking, “After what @miningexchange did to @therealmarkcurry will you find a new hotel to accommodate your artists?”

Actress Holly Robinson, Curry’s “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” co-star, posted a message of support for Curry on Sunday after watching the 26-minute video. “There was no reason for Mark to be singled out except the fact that he is a black man,” he added. she wrote on her Twitter account, which has around 755,000 subscribers. (Curry doesn’t appear to have updated his own Twitter account in the past 12 months, but is a regular Instagram poster).

“Since when do you have to identify yourself sitting in the lobby drinking coffee,” Robinson wrote. “It would be wacky if it weren’t so disrespectful.”

The Mining Exchange opened in 1901 as an exchange for mining companies, according to a June press release announcing its sale to Kemmons Wilson, a hotel investment company. The Mining Exchange later became an office building before being stripped of its brick and granite bones and turned into a boutique hotel.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new details become available.

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