A real estate broker from Seattle has been fired, after new dad Chasten Buttigieg pointed out that he left a homophobic comment from a work-associated Instagram account.
Chasten, husband of U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, posted a photo to Instagram on January 2nd of his family of four. The photo showed the new dads each holding one of their twins, while standing in the White House in front of Christmas trees.
“2021 brought with it many challenges, but it also gave us a lot to be grateful for,” the photo caption said. “#HappyNewYear, friends. Here’s to a peaceful and joyful 2022!”
While most of the replies were positive, Chasten noticed one lonely little hater in the comments.
“Someone gave these [censored] kids??? Holy [censored.]” the comment read.
Upon further investigation, Chasten found that the commenter, Andre Kravchenko, had not only used his real name, he had also posted his choice words from an account associated with American Homes 4 Rent (AH4R.)
Chasten responded by taking a photo of Kravchenko’s comment, posting a censored version to his Instagram stories, and tagging the company.
“In the year 2022, you’d think these people would be wise enough to post their homophobia from an alt account, not one easily connected to their job,” he wrote. “Rather embarrassing for @AmericanHomes4Rent, a company that claims to be an equal housing provider and one that’s ‘building a culture of inclusion and belonging.’ I worry for your tenants.”
Buttigieg’s followers quickly flooded AH4R’s latest posts, calling out the company, which said it stands for “equity and belonging.”
The company put out a statement saying Kravchenko’s comment did not reflect AH4R’s values, and that he had not worked there for over five years, despite his LinkedIn profile’s claims.
"We were saddened to learn that a former employee—or someone using their account—recently posted an offensive comment aimed at [Chasten and Pete Buttigieg,]" American Homes 4 Rent wrote. "We want to clarify that, despite this individual’s outdated LinkedIn account information, they have not been employed by our company for 5+ years, and further do not represent our beliefs and policies. We do not approve of nor do we condone discriminatory language or behavior."
Kravchenko did end up being a contractor of Skyline Properties. At first, Skyline’s Vice President Scott Hotes issued a statement that required more pushback from Chasten.
“To all who are posting, Skyline could not possibly know what 1,200 of our independent contractors could be doing at any given moment,” Hotes said. “There is no way on gods [sic] green earth that you, me air [sic] anyone else could know in advance what someone might think or post. Now that I am aware of the post I will have a conversation with the broker. Thank our [sic] for letting me know.”
In response, Chasten posted Hotes’ comment, saying; “This defensive response tells us exactly how that ‘conversation’ is going to go.”
Later, Skyline Properties’ Instagram account released a more official statement, saying Kravchenko had indeed been the person who posted the comment, and he had been fired.
“After spending time to properly review the comments made by this individual, we have found that this was not some fluke, mistake, or hacking situation, and have promptly FIRED him from Skyline Properties,” the statement said.
“That being said, we would like to sincerely apologize to the Buttigieg family and the LGBTQ+ community for any harm that came from the bigotry of this individual,” Skyline continued. “We do not tolerate ANY hate speech of any kind, nor do we have a place for ANY brokers who participate in such hateful behaviors. We must be as clear as possible when we say we have zero tolerance towards this behavior.”
Advocates hope Kravchenko’s story will encourage more homophobic trolls to keep their comments to themselves, or risk losing their jobs.