The company also sharply criticized “disrespectful” CPAC members who rudely refused requests to wear masks at the event, risking the health of workers at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.
Hyatt said in its statement Sunday that it takes concerns “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.”
The company noted it had nothing to do with the design of the stage that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient Norse Odal Rune symbol that was an insignia for a volunteer unit of Adolf Hitler’s notorious Nazi SS. The symbol has since been adopted by white supremacists in America, and has been spotted at their rallies, including in Charlottesville when demonstrators chanted “Jews will not replace us.” CPAC leaders have denied the stage was designed in the shape of the Odal Rune.
After critics erupted over the design, Hyatt representatives contacted CPAC leaders about the stage, according to the hotel. But CPAC organizers denied any link to the Nazis, noted a second Hyatt statement
“Had we initially recognized the potential connections to hate symbolism, we would have proactively addressed it prior to commencement of the event. Unfortunately, this became clear to us only after the event kicked off,” the company stated.
Hyatt wrote that during planning with conference leaders, managers had initially been “optimistic” CPAC would “reflect our vision of inclusivity.”
The company was scrambling to distance itself from CPAC after Twitter users condemned the hotel chain for enabling the group, with some calling for a Hyatt boycott.
Hyatt also criticized CPAC members who refused to wear masks or socially distance and responded with “hostility” to employees who asked them to conform with hotel policy intended to protect guests and workers. “We were extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues,” read the Hyatt statement.
CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp on Saturday angrily blasted what he called “design conspiracies” as “outrageous and slanderous.” He touted CPAC’s “long standing commitment to the Jewish community.”
The statement responding to Hyatt said the American Conservative Union’s “Jewish Board Members, staff, speakers, and attendees are appalled by the Hyatt leadership for not standing with us as we fight against anti-Semitism.”
That statement was issued a week after CPAC was forced to cancel a scheduled speaker, Young Pharaoh, after his anti-Semitic rants calling Judaism a “complete lie” (and worse) were revealed in the media.
Hyatt said that conference organizers “told us that any resemblance to a symbol of hate is unintentional.” It added: “We will continue to stay in dialogue with event organizers regarding our deep concerns. Any further questions can be directed to CPAC.”
Design Foundry, the Maryland firm that developed the CPAC stage design, told The Forward that it had “no idea” the stage resembled a Nazi insignia.
This article has been updated to include a statement from the stage designers.
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.