EDINBURGH, Scotland, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An Australian woman attempting to rent an apartment in Scotland was rejected by a landlord in the capital who branded Aussies "drunks and racists."
Laura Gratton, 24, said she applied for the Edinburgh apartment through spareroom.co.uk and soon received a rejection from the landlord along with an explanation branding her country of origin as a cesspool of drunks and racists.
The response read:
It is well known in Europe that Australians are racist. In fact around the world your people are famous for this.
Just as France is famous for wine and cheese. Australia is famous for its drunks and racists. I'm sorry I need to reject this request."
Gratton said the rejection left her feeling the need to defend herself and her country.
"You obviously are quite racist putting such labels and speculations on a whole race without knowing the individual," she wrote. "The majority of my closest friends are from across the globe so would hate to think I'm racist. So thank you for rejecting this email, I don't think we would get along at all. And I suggest you actually visit Australia and realize how multicultural we are."
The landlord then sent her a news article about a racist incident in Australia along with a final message saying: "Hi, I'm not judging a whole race. I don't want to take the risk. It is fact Australia is the most racist nation, your people are so open about it as well. This is what you Australians are known for in Europe. I think we would still get along by the way. Anyway, good luck."
Gratton said she found the whole situation hard to believe.
"When I first received the response I thought it was just a joke but then I realized that he was being serious," she told The Sun newspaper.
"I was angry and frustrated that someone could think like this and say it to me just because of where I was from.
Australia is a multicultural and very accepting country.
There are race issues like any other country -- but the actions of a few shouldn't be used to judge anyone from that country.
This was my first encounter of such strong negative and offensive stereotyping on my travels. I have heard the odd joke about drinking to do with Australians or Irish people but it has only ever been jokes among friends, never anything intended to hurt like this."
A spokesman for spareroom.co.uk sharply criticized the landlord.
"If we'd spotted anything like this in someone's ad we'd have removed it instantly," the spokesman said. "Dismissing a whole nation as racist is, frankly, ridiculous. There are clear laws about discrimination when it comes to renting rooms but it's not just about what is and isn't legal -- it's about treating people as you'd want them to treat you."
Gratton isn't the first to face international discrimination due to the perceived drunkenness of an entire country. Ireland native Katie Mulrennan, 26, was rejected for a teaching job in Seoul, South Korea, by a hiring agent who cited the drunken reputation of the Irish.
"I am sorry to inform you that my client does not hire Irish people due to the alcoholism nature of your kind," the email reply read.