An Airbnb host has been accused of being “fatphobic” after banning anyone who weighs more than 16st from staying at their cottage.
The host claimed that their property could be “seriously” damaged by larger guests and this has not gone down too well at all.
Hosts Zsu and Marcus have been criticised by social media users and activists for their listing that bans guests with “eating disorders” and not allowing them to rent the property due to a “maximum weight limit of 100kg [15.7 stone] per person”.
After the backlash, spearheaded by body-positive campaigners, the £199-a-night Bobbit's Lair cottage in Kent appeared to have disappeared from Airbnb on Tuesday evening.
But that didn’t last long as the listing appeared to be visible on the website again shortly after, but this time removing mentions of eating disorders.
The host, instead of apologising, decided to attempt to explain that the weight limit was due to “very old oak beams”.
Airbnb said that “discrimination has no place in their community” and the accommodation has since been removed from its website fully.
But that didn’t stop fat activist Lindsay McGlone, who is 24, saying that the “discriminatory fatphobic” hosts and Airbnb were wrong for allowing the listing on its site and demanded the hosts be banished from advertising with them again.
The hosts responded by doubling down, saying that the property pictures were taken on a wide-angled lens and that 'bigger than average' people are not allowed to stay because they could cause 'serious damage'.
Yet still, hosts Zsu and Marcus remain defiant that larger guests are not welcome at their cottage.
We had someone ask about the bath size then how wide was he [sic] doors were. We said 'not suitable for disabled guests'. Then the penny dropped once they booked we had to cancel as the cottage could of [sic] got seriously damaged during 'their' stay. Understand the pictures are wide-angle, bigger than average people are NOT ALLOWED TO STAY!
An Airbnb spokesman said:
Airbnb's mission is to create a world where everyone can belong anywhere.
Discrimination and bias have no place in our community, and we have suspended the listing while we address the matter raised.
We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.