SHARONVILLE, Ohio (CBS Cleveland) – A Dayton man laid back on his Motel 6 bed, flipped the television on and had to rub his eyes to be sure he saw the “greeting” message clearly: “Hello n****r!”
Joseph Ross, an African-American man, complained to Motel 6′s corporate office and reached out to the Dayton chapter of the NAACP, who confirmed the on-screen slur to Cincinnati’s WCPO. Ross was staying at the Sharonville Motel 6 because he planned to attend the Macy’s Music jazz festival.
“I turned the TV on and when I laid back on the bed I just happened to see something on the screen and I was like, ‘Ah, that ain’t there, so then I focused my eyes and I couldn’t believe what was on there,’” he told WCPO in Cincinnati.
Derrick Forward, president of the Dayton chapter of the NAACP, confirmed the message that came up on the television – and he doesn’t think it was a coincidence.
“For a guest to come to your hotel, turn on the TV during a Macy’s jazz festival, that’s predominately African-American that attend this event, to say ‘Hello (racial slur)’ what kind of welcome is that?” Forward told WCPO.
The police are also investigating the incident. “We are taking this very seriously and we are looking into it,” Sharonville Police Lt. James Nesbit told Cincinnati.com.
Motel 6 released the statement below to CBS deploring the incident:
Motel 6 is appalled and offended by the malicious act of vandalism a guest observed on a television screen at our Sharonville, Ohio Motel 6 property on July 27.
- This was the only room in the hotel property where the racially-offensive message appeared.
- The guest who stayed in this same room two nights before – on Wednesday evening, July 25 – saw the same offensive message but unfortunately did not report it to anyone within the Motel 6 organization.
- The guest who stayed in the room the night before that, July 24, told police he did not see such a message when he turned on his TV.
- As far as we know, based on the investigation to date, no one working for this property had any knowledge of this message being placed on this particular TV screen or any role in putting it there.
- This message or, indeed, any offensive TV message, has never been reported as appearing at any Motel 6 property anywhere in the U.S.