Hollywood 2021: Chateau Marmont Troubles

L.A. County DA George Gascon Speaks Out on Chateau Marmont Racial Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct Claims

 

Chateau Marmont building
Courtesy of Michael Racanelli

The claims first surfaced in a September 2020 probe in The Hollywood Reporter. Last month, a Black actress employed as server filed a civil lawsuit contending she’d been repeatedly passed over for higher-paying roles in favor of white hires she then had to train and also physically violated by guests for years during events — and the superiors she told about the harassment shrugged it away.

“I am aware of the civil lawsuit and allegations made regarding the Chateau Marmont hotel,” Gascon said in a statement. “Workers can often feel powerless when dealing with hostile workplaces, dangerous work conditions and wage theft. I am committed to workers in Los Angeles County.”

Gascon, who didn’t reveal plans for prosecution at this time, ran on a progressive platform which may place the Chateau in his crosshairs. During a campaign debate he announced that “one of the things I would do [if elected] is create a civil rights division within the D.A.’s office.”

Hotel owner Andre Balazs is accused of a pattern of racist hiring preferences and groping his own employees. The Chateau has denied all claims, and declined to respond to Gascon’s comment.

Local officials have said that, in light of the revelations, they would avoid the landmark lodging, and organizations ranging from SAG-AFTRA to the National Organization for Women have decried the situation.

A pledge to boycott the Chateau, organized by hospitality union Unite Here 11, which has sought to organize the hotel’s workers, has garnered the support of Jane Fonda. Fonda’s public relations company, Sunshine Sachs, had also represented the hotel.

When contacted, a representative for the firm noted it had dropped the Chateau since the civil lawsuit was filed in late January.