Employees at a hotel in Colorado Springs have been “suspended” after being accused of racial profiling comedian Mark Curry. The comedian detailed his recent experience at the Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel & Spa. The actor best known for his role on “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” believes he was “harassed” and racially profiled for being Black.
Curry arrived in town for his performance at 3E’s Comedy Club on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10. He routinely checked into his hotel that Friday, according to the Indy, “accompanied” by 3E’s CEO Eric Phillips. Phillips told the outlet that all of his performers use this hotel, located across the street from the club he opened in 2020. He said he’s “never had a bit of trouble” and described an odd encounter during check in. Phillips claims a woman at the front desk acted strange when Curry asked about the Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, a popular tourist attraction.
“The girl there, she said she wasn’t secure answering the question and another woman took that to mean she wasn’t secure with the Black man standing at the counter,” said Phillips.
From there, things took a turn for the worst as Curry began documenting his encounter with hotel employees in a 26-minute Instagram video. The 6’5 entertainer sat in the lobby drinking coffee as he was approached by two men who asked if he was a guest. The white male, John Cramm, said he was the maintenance and security man. He was escorted by a Black man, who also works at the hotel. Neither provided a badge or any emlpoyee identification said Curry.
“If you’re Black and you’re in Colorado Springs, you can’t be in the lobby,” he said while seated in the lobby. “Wow! This is crazy, isn’t it?”
The 61-year-old pointed out that he was a “Black man in Colorado Springs.” The Black male began to laugh out loud, saying, “You’re trying to pull the race card.”
Both men refused to back down despite being recorded in the video. “It’s just that I’m a Black man sitting in a lobby. They don’t know what I got,” Curry added. “I should buy this hotel. That’s the funny thing.”
He said he felt “threatened” by how the employees were standing and asked them to back up, but they refused. He then got up to see if they would follow him around the hotel, and they did. “Oh, you’re real tough,” said Cramm.
“They don’t know who I am,” added Curry. “This is what these white boys do. They do this, and then they get a brother with them.”
Nearly seven minutes into the video, he attempted to approach a female team member, who refused to speak to him. “Oh, no one’s talking. Oh, this is great.”
Curry walked back over to the front desk, where he spoke with the same blonde haired woman who checked him in and another white female employee. The woman confirmed that Cramm was one of the hotel’s engineers. When Curry asked to report the two men for following him, she then asked him if he was a guest. “Didn’t you check me in?” he said to the woman at the front desk who continued to ask for his room number and last name. She said she needed confirmation “for safety” reasons.
“I was there when he checked in,” said Phillips. “She just checked him in earlier. Why would she ask for his ID again?”
Throughout the video at different points, Cramm walks over the Curry’s phone and looks directly into the camera. The two employees continued following the acting vet who has a net worth of $5 million until he got on the elevator. He returned to his “bullsh— suite” at the Mining Exchange, where he carried on with his venting session.
“A black man can’t go nowhere. A black man can’t go nowhere in America,” said Oakland, California native. “Ain’t that some bulls—-.” He ended the video stating his plans to check into another hotel before his performance that night. He also encouraged viewers watching to call the hotel and make a report.
“Call these b—— again,” Curry said. “719-323-2000 and ask them can a Black man be in their lobby. What are their lobby rules?”
A statement from the hotel revealed that the “Employees involved in this matter have been suspended, pending further investigation.”
The Indy claims hotel officials refused an interview but further expressed their sentiments in another statement from the company’s general manager.
“We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive space for all guests and employees. We deeply regret this incident and have reached out to Mr. Curry to offer not only our sincere apologies but a full refund of his stay and an invitation to return, at no cost, anytime in the future,” said Neil Cramm.
“As a respected community partner, we are also using this opportunity to revisit training with our staff, helping to ensure all interactions are reflective of our company values,” he continued. “The Mining Exchange plays a special role in the Colorado Springs community and we will continue working each and every day to ensure that our hotel remains a space that is open and welcoming to all.”
Curry’s fans and celebrity friends were equally as frustrated after watching his full Instagram video. It currently has over 102,900 views and over 5,860 comments from Claudia Jordan, Raven Symone, Holly Robinson Peete, and others. Another comedian, Guy Tory, applauded Curry’s effort to remain calm during the incident.
“After watching the whole story, I still say the hotel was WRONG. I stayed there 2 weeks ago playing the same comedy club and I didn’t get harassed but I’m a small Black man,” Tory wrote. “We know that Whites are afraid of Big Black guys. But this guy wasn’t even security. Mark is a better man than me. He handled it well. I would have been in jail. My legs and fuse are a lot shorter.”