Black Billionaire Denied Access To His Room For Wearing Sunglasses

“She said ‘Mr. Johnson, you need to take off your sunglasses. I can’t check you in if you don’t take off your glasses,’” the billionaire recalled.

Beach Resort

The co-founder of Black Entertainment Television was reportedly denied entry into his room at a luxury hotel in Florida because of his sunglasses.

Bob Johnson arrived at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa after a fishing trip and tried to check into his room. However, a receptionist instructed him to take his sunglasses off.

At first the billionaire thought the receptionist was joking but he knew things were serious when she said he had to remove the glasses.

Johnson said he refused to do so and said the glasses were prescription. He even presented his driving license, passport and even his American Express card but all his efforts went in vain.

“She said ‘Mr. Johnson, you need to take off your sunglasses. I can’t check you in if you don’t take off your glasses,’” Johnson recalled.

When the B.E.T. co-founder realized there was no way the woman would allow him to enter his room, he demanded police to be called.

However, that also didn’t help.

Hotel authorities failed to allow Johnson enter his room with sunglasses on because apparently this was the hotel’s policy to protect its customers from fraud. They further said they will not change the rule.

“It is standard operating procedure in the industry to ask to make sure that the person who is presenting themselves to check-in and they present identification that it does match and if they're wearing dark glasses with a ball cap low over their face, you want to make sure that it is the same person, much like what would happen at TSA rules going through the airport,” the hotel’s spokesman, Nick Gold.

Johnson, who owns 165 hotels, later denounced the rule and said it is ridiculous.

“I think it’s a silly rule, and I think it has overtones of racial profiling,” he said.

After the unpleasant incident, Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa said they would love to host Johnson again, however, the billionaire said he will never visit the hotel again.


Spotlight, Banner: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

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