Meek Mill is levelling accusations of racism at a Las Vegas hotel that refused to let him enter and then threatened to have him arrested for trespassing if he did — without offering him any explanation for why he was barred.
In some disturbing video footage the “Going Bad” rapper shared on social media, he and another African-American man can be seen discussing the situation with two hotel employees (who are both white) at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, asking them why he’s not permitted to enter.
One of the hotel employees tells Mill that the decision to bar him from the property is “way bigger than me” and then threatens to have him arrested for trespassing if he steps foot on the property (according to TMZ, Mill and two members of his security detail were there to watch DJ Mustard perform at the hotel’s Marquee Dayclub).
“I’m gonna be arrested for what?” Mill asks in the video. “Being a rapper?”
“Cosmopolitan hotel/casino going to extreme racist levels to keep too many black entertainers and black people …. they said they gone lock me up… I’m like for what I’ve been once to a party with Jay Z,” he wrote in the caption accompanying the video.
“Some of these casinos have a bunch of tatics [sic] to keep the level of blacks down… but love to take our money!” he added. “This happens to a lot of black entertainers not just me either! I felt crazy being put out by these white men for no reason!”
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Cosmopolitan hotel/casino going to extreme racist levels to keep too many black entertainers and black people …. they said they gone lock me up.. I’m like for what I’ve been once to a party with jayz ….. Some of these casinos have a bunch of Tatics to keep the level of blacks down …. but love to take our money!!!! This happens to a lot of black entertainers not just me either!! I felt crazy being put out by these white men for no reason!
He continued to vent on Twitter, accusing the Cosmopolitan Hotel of being “really racist as hell.”
The blast of the hotel went on where he was insisting that this particular hotel isn’t the only one to discriminate against black rappers and entertainers, “because they don’t want too many blacks on their property.” He then said that he’d be getting his lawyers involved.
Mill’s video quickly went viral; at the time of writing, his Instagram post had been viewed nearly 1.2 million times, and the hotel eventually issued a response to Mill’s accusations.
“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on legal matters,” declared the hotel in a statement to 3 News Las Vegas. “Our guests’ safety and security always remain our top priority.” The hotel further commented to TMZ about the incident and that they have a “zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Adding, “Marquee Dayclub had reached capacity per Las Vegas Fire Marshall code. Earlier that day, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police had been called onsite to manage a larger than usual venue crowd. Accordingly, when Marquee Dayclub was contacted in advance of Meek Mill’s arrival, security staff clarified that he would not be granted access because of capacity issues, in accordance with both club and resort policy. Upon his arrival, it was reiterated to Meek Mill and his team for a second time that access to the venue was not permitted. Meek Mill refused to depart property and was then informed that any continued attempt would result in trespassing.”
True to his word, Mill’s lawyer has sent a scathing letter to the hotel, reports TMZ, alleging that the hotel has a list of black celebrities who are barred from the hotel and that the hotel security referenced a prior incident in the lobby. Mill’s team was not told was this incident was though.
“We have learned that the Cosmopolitan maintains a list of African-American recording artists who should be denied access for no other reason than their culture and skin colour,” the rapper’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, wrote. “Such course of conduct constitutes discrimination per se, in violation of state and federal law, and exposes you to significant monetary damages.”
Tacopina also insisted that Mill be issued an apology and allowed to enter the premises, and added a dire warning.
“We urge you to promptly issue an apology to Mr. Williams and grant him immediate access,” the lawyer added. “In the event you fail to heed this one and only warning, we intend to pursue all legal recourse against you.”
Tacopina promised legal action against the hotel in a new interview with TMZ. “Just because they are black hip-hop artists, I guess they’re harkening back to the days of Tupac and Biggie…” the lawyer suggested. “That is not a basis to ban every African American entertainer in the hip-hop genre from entering hotel property and being treated like a dog.”
Mill will file a lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan this week with “heavy monetary damages” for “lying and humiliating Meek,” Tacopina said. “I’m going to take this place down because of what they did.”
Rapper Yo Gotti told TMZ he has experienced similar racial profiling by the Cosmopolitan and other Vegas venues.”It’s a disgrace that these establishments continue to judge us by the colour of our skin and our professions instead of recognizing our artistry and dedication to our communities,” Gotti said. “I stand with Meek Mill and all my peers in the hip-hop community that have been disrespected by places like the Cosmopolitan.”