The problem continues for one of Los Angeless’s most iconic hotel and restaurant destinations. Chateau Marmont, the Sunset Strip hangout known for celebrities, not-so-well-hidden debauchery, and the annual Jay-Z and Beyonc post-Oscar party, is now under fire from Hollywood journalist writer and restaurant critic Gary Baum. In a scathing story with nearly three dozen sources, Baum advances a number of ruinous allegations against Chateau Marmont and owner Andr Balazs, ranging from allegations of sexual misconduct and overt discrimination to negligent management and fighting unions.
In the massive story now on Hollywood journalist, titled Rot at Hollywoods Playground, Baum begins by alleging that multi-millionaire hotel owner Balazs, who also owns the Mercer in New York and the Chiltern Firehouse in London, only announced earlier this summer his plans to turn the hotel into a private club reserved for members as a means of firing staff and preventing employees from forming a union. The move resembles the Augies Coffee issue from July, although Balazs denies that this is the reason the changes were made.
From there, the story unfolds in the disturbing lives of many lower-level hotel staff, including a ten-year-old housekeeper named Sonia Molina Sanchez who says Balazs and the higher-level employees did nothing when she complained about a man’s overtly sexual behavior. hotel guest. Another employee, Adrian Jules, says a coworker sent him sexually suggestive texts, but the company lacked a formal human resources department and therefore nothing was done when he raised the issue with superiors.
Balazs is to blame directly for much of the culture at Chateau Marmont, says Baum. Ultra-special VIPs who were close to Balazs would demand to continue drinking after the 2am legal cut-off and threaten the employment of staff members if they told them no. Balazs himself is described as an alcoholic and drug addict father by an anonymous member of staff, and the Hollywood journalist alleges multiple instances of sexual misconduct and abuse on his part over the years, including at the Standard Hotel, which he also opened. A very public groping incident involving actress Amanda Anka (which ended with husband Jason Bateman would have spat out his gum facing Balazs) made the rounds in 2017, but other incidents only resulted in confidential settlements.
There is much more to the Hollywood journalist story, including quotes from many long-time former employees about BIPOC’s discrimination in staffing, the drug-fueled evenings that destroyed rooms and left staff scrambling to clean up, and recent challenges in the property (including rooms available for rent on Expedia before the pandemic). Here is an example:
Employees describe the hotel as an institution defined by racial prejudice. It starts, they say, with Balazs himself, a micro-managerial personality who they believe has a clear preference for hiring and promoting white workers on the ground, hospitality speaks for roles at the top. visibility and that managers are so aware of sticking to it. that they change staff when he’s on site to appease him, and even called some employees on their days off that best matched his favorite aesthetic.
It should also be noted that the adjacent closed restaurant Bar Marmont is also discussed, as writer Baum alleges that Balazs planned to transform the building into a private, sex-themed party space, where attendees would be asked to leave their cell phone in locked boxes and the entrance itself was adorned with a brass phallus doorknob [that] was removed after hotel workers complained.
It is important to note that Balazs, through his PR firm and lawyers, denies almost everything in the Hollywood journalist history, especially diversity issues and allegations of sexual impropriety. Go read the whole thing now.
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