BET Co-Founder Bob Johnson Denied Check-In Over Sunglasses at Florida Five-Star Hotel, Johnson Says Policy ‘Has Undertones of Racial Profiling’

Robert “Bob” Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), exits a session at the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Friday, July 12, 2013. Executives from media, finance and politics mingle at the mountain resort between presentations on business trends and social issues, brought together by New York investment banker Herb Allen. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BET co-founder Bob Johnson said he was denied the right to check-in at one of Florida’s five-star hotels and because of it, he’ll never return.

According to ABC 25, Johnson gave the keys to the valet as the bellhop took his bags to the front desk of the Eau Palm Beach for his two-night reservation. Johnson said while at the front desk he gave the staffer his Florida driver’s license, passport, and American Express card.

“Then she says, Mr. Johnson, you need to take off your sunglasses,” Johnson said.

Johnson refused to take off his prescription sunglasses and because of this, was denied the chance to check-in.

“She said well, I can’t check you in if you don’t take off your glasses,” Johnson said.

Nick Gold, spokesman for Eau Palm Beach stood by the staffer’s decision to not allow Johnson to check in.

“It is standard operating procedure in the industry to ask to make sure that the person who is presenting themselves to check-in and they present identification that it does match and if they’re wearing dark glasses with a ball cap low over their face, you want to make sure that it is the same person, much like what would happen at TSA rules going through the airport,” Gold said.

Johnson, who currently owns 165 hotels said he’s never heard of this policy and claims it makes no sense.

“I think it’s a silly rule and I think it has overtones of racial profiling,” Johnson said.

Police were called at Johnson’s urging and after they arrived, they tried to assist in getting the hotel and Johnson to meet on common ground. Johnson eventually left the hotel.

SOURCE: Vibe – Shenequa Golding