Hollywood turns on Sultan of Brunei over anti-LGBT law. Join the boycott!
May 11, 2014 /LGBT News/ With the expected implementation of the Shariah law in Brunei, a law that would punish homosexuality with death by stoning, LGBT-rights advocates are mobilizing against the financial interests of the Southeast Asian country.
Last week Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah confirmed he was pushing ahead with a plan to introduce Sharia law for the 70% of his 400,000 subjects who are Muslims, and the first phase came into effect on Thursday.
The prospect of punishments such as death by stoning for adultery and same-sex relationships, amputations by sword for theft, and 40 lashes from a rattan cane for drunkenness, has not gone down well in Hollywood and the Sultan has been unofficially declared persona non grata.
In a letter sent to leadership officials of several organizations that plan to host events at American hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin urged such events to be relocated elsewhere.
"I have attended various events at both hotels over the past several years. But given the extreme nature of these developments, I feel strongly that we in the LGBT community and our allies should take our business elsewhere," Griffin wrote, encouraging such events be hosted at Los Angeles-area hotels other than the Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.
Celebrities such as Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres have also called for a boycott of the high-end hotel, and the Beverly Hills City Council approved a resolution urging the sultan to give up ownership of the hotel.
The Feminist Majority Foundation pulled its annual Global Women's Rights Awards, co-chaired by Leno and his wife Mavis, from the hotel. The event was instead held at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.
The Hollywood Reporter said it would not hold its annual Women in Entertainment breakfast at the hotel, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which runs the star-studded Night Before the Oscars, said it would not hold its charity event at the hotel in 2015.
Teen Line — a confidential teen-to-teen help line — also decided to move its annual fundraising luncheon from the hotel to the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.
Here is the full list of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei if you would like to join the boycott yourself:
- The Dorchester - London
- 45 Park Lane - London
- Coworth Park - Ascot
- The Beverly Hills Hotel - Los Angeles
- Hotel Bel-Air - Los Angeles
- Principe di Savoia - Milan
- Hotel Eden - Rome
- Plaza Athénée - Paris
- Hotel Meurice - Paris
- Le Richemond - Geneva