'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.'
Chasten Buttigieg has no time or patience for homophobic trolls in 2022, especially not when they take aim at his twin babies. The 32-year-old husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg began this year by teaching a very valuable lesson to a hatemonger after they left a homophobic comment on an Instagram photo of the Buttigiegs holding their twin babies, Penelope and Joseph. "2021 brought with it many challenges, but it also gave us a lot to be grateful for," Chasten captioned the photo, adding, "#HappyNewYear, friends. Here's to a peaceful and joyful 2022!"
The post was soon flooded with positive comments as thousands of Instagram users admired the heartwarming snap. However, one commenter—identified as Andre Kravchenko—simply couldn't handle the sight of a happy family and left some nasty words for the Buttigiegs in the comment box. "Someone gave these [censored] kids??? Holy [censored]," Kravchenko wrote, according to a censored screenshot Chasten posted onto his Instagram Stories. "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," Chasten wrote in the story. "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.'"
Soon after Chasten publically called out the troll's bigotry, the comment section of American Homes 4 Rent's last few Instagram posts were flooded with commenters slamming Kravchenko—whose account has since been taken down. American Homes 4 Rent then published a statement clarifying that Kravchenko is a former employee of the real estate company. "As an equal housing provider and responsible corporate citizen, we are committed to championing diversity and inclusion in our workplace and in our communities. We were saddened to learn that a former employee—or someone using their account—recently posted an offensive comment aimed at @chasten.buttigieg and @pete.buttigieg," the statement said.
"We want to clarify that, despite this individual's outdated LinkedIn account information, they have not been employed by our company for 5+ years, and further do not represent our beliefs and policies.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," they continued. "Prejudice and bullying are inconsistent with our core values. Being respectful and inclusive is a basic expectation of all of our employees and partners. We continue to stand for equity and belonging, both within our workplace and outside of company walls." Meanwhile, Skyline Properties in Seattle, Washington—where Kravchenko was an independent contractor—took a different approach when commenters urged them to hold him accountable.
Andre’s social media accounts said pic.twitter.com/WQJcNZO8Km— Brad Thee Esquire. (@jurisclicktion) January 4, 2022
Here’s another place you could leave a review pic.twitter.com/JTjURY7Cqx— Steven James (@CaliWineCountry) January 3, 2022
"To all who are posting," Skyline Properties wrote, according to a screenshot of the comment posted by Chasten to his Instagram stories. "Skyline could not possibly know what 1,200 of our independent contractors could be doing at any given moment. There is no way on God's green earth that you, me [or] 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 you for letting me know. Scott Hotes. Skyline." Chasten's response to the offhand comment indicated he wasn't going to be holding his breath. "This defensive response tells us exactly how that 'conversation' is going to go," he wrote.
Skyline Properties later took a different tone when they announced via Instagram that they'd fired Kravchenko following the 'conversation.' "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 company 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. 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."