If you happen to be in Charleston, S.C. today, please make sure you do NOT take a picture that includes both the Marriott Courtyard Charleston Historic District hotel and the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in the same frame, because this is against the rules and you will be censured on Twitter.

Yesterday, Charlestonian and YouTube interview host Quintin Washington posted the following extremely innocuous tweet:

It is, as he says, a picture of a street on a warm Sunday afternoon in December. In it, you can see the steeple of Emanuel A.M.E, a beautiful, 200-year-old Gothic Revival church. That’s all it is. But to the craven ad hustlers at Marriott, the picture was more than that—a contamination of their brand:

“We respectfully ask you not to include the hotel in mother AME photos. TY.” An insane message in our insane era. The implicit thought here is that, because a white supremacist killed nine people inside that church, the church is now toxic for the purposes of conducting commerce and promoting tourism to the extent that its very existence should be denied. Unfortunately for the Marriott, reality says that the church is actually just down the street from the hotel, and so it will often be hard to photograph one without the other:

(I assume a takedown notice from Marriott International, Inc. to Google is forthcoming)

In order to not offend the Marriott brand, Washington ought to have uploaded a photo such as the following using one of many phone-compatible image editing apps:

Or, if you absolutely must depict the Marriott Courtyard Charleston Historic District, please consider an option like this:

Thank you for your understanding. Or, as the Marriott put it so sweetly when Washington acknowledged their request:


Contacted by phone, the front desk said “the hotel does not have a comment on that.”

Contact the author at biddle@gawker.com.
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