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Hyatt Hotels says it is taking seriously criticism about CPAC's stage shape as social media claims 'abhorrent' shape is Nazi hate symbol


Critics say the stage resembled a Nazi uniform symbol

Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hyatt Hotels says it is taking seriously social media claims that insist the CPAC 2021 stage was inspired by a rune that Nazis used on their uniforms, Insider reported.

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference took place at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend, and the hotel chain is facing calls for boycotts after the conservative political event.

What are the details?

In a late Sunday statement, Hyatt Hotels Corporation said that hate symbols are "abhorrent" after tweets comparing the CPAC presenter stage shape to a Nordic rune that appeared on Nazi uniforms during and around World War II.

Users said that the shape of the stage was far too close for comfort when compared to a Nordic "Odal rune," the SS insignia, and that the Anti-Defamation League previously classified the insignia as a hate symbol.

One now-viral social media post read, "Has anyone else noticed the shape of the CPAC stage is the Odal Rune/SS insignia?"

Filmmaker Morgan J. Freeman — not the actor — also put out a viral tweet about the stage design, writing, "The #CPAC stage is designed to be a rune used by the Nazis. Curious if @Hyatt is okay with Nazi symbols being used on their properties like this?"

What did the hotel say?

In response to the outcry, the hotel corporation said, "We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company."

According to the Washington Post, "The hotel noted that it allowed the event to continue after organizers 'told us that any resemblance to a symbol of hate is unintentional.'"

The company also insisted that CPAC and the American Conservative Union were solely responsible for the stage design and all other related conference logistics.

Reuters also reported that the ceiling of the conference room featured a "lighting display in the same shape as the stage."

What else is there to know?

Matt Schlapp, who is chair of the American Conservative Union, hit back and said that the criticism was "outrageous and slanderous."

"We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community," Schlapp said in the statement. "Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage."

Anything else?

Social media users over the weekend also called for people to boycott the hotel chain for hosting the conservative event.

Following the demands to "cancel" Hyatt, the hotel group released the following statement:

We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company. We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours. Our own values support a culture that is characterized by empathy, respect and diversity of opinions and backgrounds, and we strive to bring this to light through what we do and how we engage with those in our care.
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