Oscar-winning actor George Clooney has called for the boycott of nine luxury hotels in the US and Europe with ties to the sultan of Brunei. Next week, the Brunei controlled nation will implement a law making gay sex and adultery punishable by death.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah rules the oil-rich monarchy with full executive authority, and the hotels are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
Clooney wrote Thursday in Deadline Hollywood: “Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens? Below I’ve listed the nine hotels. It’s up to each of us what we want to do.”
The 9 luxury hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei on Clooney’s boycott list include:
The Dorchester, London
45 Park Lane, London
Coworth Park, UK
The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills
Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
Le Meurice, Paris
Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
Hotel Eden, Rome
Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan
“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote in the Deadline op-ed. “Brunei is a monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human-rights violations?”
Pursuitist is joining in on the boycott of these luxury hotels. We will no longer cover, recommend or feature any hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
“Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society. That’s why I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand and calling out the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry now being enshrined in law in the nation of Brunei, a place where gay people are brutalized or worse,” Elton John said in a statement.
“I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect – as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world,” John added.
Meanwhile, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the comedian disagreed with the boycott of the Brunei luxury hotels
Maher called Clooney’s effort “chickenshit tokenism because, what about Saudi Arabia? If you really want to get back at them, stop driving. Don’t use oil.”
The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air are part of the Dorchester Collection, owned by a wing of the Brunei government referred to as the Brunei Investment Agency. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah himself has an estimated net worth of $20 billion.
“Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasizes equality, respect, and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees,” a representative for the hotel brand said in a statement. “Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”