After initially defending its decision to host the Conservative Political Action Conference by celebrating a commitment to "inclusivity," Hyatt Hotels made an abrupt about-face on Monday, accusing CPAC of promoting "hate symbolism."
The symbolism the hotel giant referenced had to do with the stage design, which online activists noted looked like the Odal rune, a symbol used by the Nazis.
Hyatt said that when it asked event organizers about the coincidence, CPAC vehemently "denied any connection to such symbols."
"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," Hyatt announced.
The hotel chain also expressed its frustration with conference attendees refusing to wear masks.
"In keeping with our deep culture of inclusivity, our colleagues worked tirelessly to support this event while enforcing Hyatt's safety policies," the hotel giant said. "At times, these efforts included reminding attendees to wear masks and socially distance, even while colleagues occasionally faced hostility from attendees who did not support our policies. ... Further, we were extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues, as it is reflective neither of our own commitment to care for members of the Hyatt family nor of how we wish to conduct business."
CPAC responded to Hyatt's "disappointing" criticism with a letter of its own.