Reuters, February 28, 2021
Hyatt Hotels Corp called symbols of hate “abhorrent” on Sunday after the design of a stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference at one of its hotels drew comparisons to a Norse rune used by Nazis during World War Two.
A photo of the CPAC stage went viral on social media on Saturday, with thousands of Twitter users sharing posts comparing its distinctive design to an othala rune, one of many ancient European symbols that Nazis adopted to “reconstruct a mythic ‘Aryan’ past,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The ceiling of the conference room featured a lighting display in the same shape as the stage, according to Reuters photographs.
Hyatt said all aspects of conference logistics, including the stage design, were managed by the American Conservative Union, which organized the conference.
The comparisons were “outrageous and slanderous,” Matt Schlapp, American Conservative Union chair, said in a Twitter post on Saturday. He added the organization had a “long standing commitment to the Jewish community” and that the conference featured several Jewish speakers.
In its statement on Sunday, Hyatt said: “We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”