When Joseph Ross (pictured) checked in to a Motel 6 in Sharonville, Ohio, last Friday and turned on the TV, instead of the customary hotel menu of amenities offered, he was greeted with an “Hello N*gger!” on the screen.
Ross, who was in town to attend the Macy’s Music Festival, thought he was hallucinating when he saw the bold racial slur on the TV screen. “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, Aww, that ain’t there, so then I focused my eyes and I couldn’t believe what was on there,” Ross said.
Upon seeing the derogatory phrase, Ross got on the phone to contact the Motel 6 corporate office as well as the Dayton chapter of the NAACP.
Derrick Forward, the president of the Dayton chapter of the NAACP, called the hotel establishment to confirm what Ross had told them and was incredulous when he was told that the incident had indeed occurred.
The incident prompted a visit from Forward to check out what was on the screen himself. “To my amazement, I actually witnessed with my own eyes ‘Hello, [racial slur] exclamation point,’” Forward told WCPO 9.
Forward, however, thinks that the message that was relayed on the TV screen is not mere coincidence. Since the Macy’s jazz event is attended by predominantly African Americans, he suspects that the greeting was intentionally placed to relay a racist message.
“For a guest to come to your hotel and turn on the TV during a Macy’s jazz festival, to say, ‘Hello, (racial slur),’ what kind of welcome is that?” Forward said.
Meanwhile, the popular family oriented hospitality chain issued a statement regarding the incident:
At Motel 6, we are proud of the great diversity of the guests that we serve, and we are completely appalled by the offensive slur that appeared on our guest’s television screen Friday. We are investigating to determine how this mishap occurred, and after inspecting other rooms this appears to be an isolated incident.
The Sharonville police department are also investigating the racial bias incident.