A San Francisco real estate agent hired drag queen Carnie Asada to star in a video advertising Casa de Dolores, a set of fully renovated condominiums whose developer used the Ellis Act to evict longtime tenants at the former rental property. Asada, according to 48 Hills, had no idea of the condos' eviction-filled past.
48 Hills' Tim Redmond reports:
A real estate speculator working with the notorious serial evictors Urban Green first tossed out a family with a baby (two restaurant workers), an SF General Hospital nurse, a Balboa High School teacher and a special education teacher. Then they set their sights on Mary Phillips, who resisted and fought for two years to keep her home. She ultimately died at 100, which allowed the speculators to clear out the entire place, renovate it to look fabulous, and put it on the market.
Real estate agent Erin Thompson then hired Asada to host a video in which she tours available units at 55 Dolores Street and details the sleek and modern bells and whistles of each. The video has since been taken down, but there's an edited version detailing the property's evictions and noting the irony that the developer essentially chose the name "The House of Pain" (casa de dolores translates to "house of sorrows" or "house of pains").
"I was hired not by the owner but by the real estate agent for a project we thought people would enjoy," Asada told Redmond, adding that she had "no idea" about the evictions.
Realtors hiring local drag queens to hock their properties are nothing new. If you were hired (for presumably good money just for marveling at a faucet on camera) to do one of these property videos, would you make a point of ensuring that the building's history didn't include shady evictions? Redmond suggests you should.