Ninety minutes after the Las Vegas Weekly posted a story on a transgender guest being escorted out of the hotel and banned her for life, the Cosmopolitan issued a statement to the Weekly saying that the woman is welcome back at the resort “anytime.”
“The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is committed to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent dignity of every person, by fostering sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect of our guests and employees.
“We sincerely regret any misunderstanding or inappropriate actions that any member of our staff may have taken. And to ensure increased sensitivity within this area, the organization will focus on continued training and on-going awareness initiatives. In addition, we apologize to the individual guest and welcome her back to the resort anytime.”
Additionally, the hotel stated, “We would like to apologize to the LGBT community and anyone concerned and hope to demonstrate our firm dedication to fair and unbiased treatment of all.”
When we talked with Stephanie Friday she scoffed at the original statement that the Cosmopolitan issued to hotelchatter.com because it did not speak to the specific incident and issue.
Regarding The Cosmopolitan's recent comments, Stephanie says that had it been their original response, it would have seemed more sincere. She says the hotel’s follow-up statement and apology, issued after the Cosmopolitan was under attack for the story, appears to be nothing more than disaster control, and that she will not be returning to the Cosmopolitan:
“The simple fact is that the Cosmopolitan chose not to issue any sort of meaningful reply until such time as there was a huge up swell of anti-Cosmopolitan commentary across the entire social media landscape, until there was almost universal vilification of their behavior, until they received a call from GLAAD, and until they received a call from Community Marketing to revoke their TAG Approval rating, and calls from who knows how many media organizations requesting comment.
“As such, coming as it did, their statement completely lacks any sort of sincerity and is simply their attempt to do some PR disaster control when it was clear that the situation had reached epic anti-Cosmopolitan proportions.”
Additionally, she says, “They do not address how such a thing could even possibly happen; given the amount of talk they do regarding being open, inclusive, and hip. They do not address the incredible rude and nasty attitude their staff treated a paying customer (regardless of their sexual or gender orientation), they do not explain why their initial response to this situation was a boiler plate 'sorry you did not have a good time at the Cosmopolitan', they don’t address what their specific policies are, instead using the word 'misunderstanding,' and I don’t see any comment from anyone in a position of authority to actually effect change, only from the PR department.
“So for me the Cosmopolitan’s real position on this issue can be found in their initial responses to me: they simply do not care, and support the behavior of their staff. In the seven days after the incident they offered no apologies, only banal non-replies, despite two communications to them regarding this. It was only after eight days, and a publicity nightmare, that they sent their 'apology'. If they truly believe what they said, they would have issued this apology when they were initially contacted last week.”