Academy Awards' "Night Before" Event Pulled From Beverly Hills Hotel Over Owner Sultan Of Brunei's Extreme Homophobia
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's decision to pass Sharia Law and make it extremely illegal to be LGBT in Brunei has rippled around the world since its announcement last week. But the latest effect of the Sultan's homophobic move hits him right here in the U.S. at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, which he owns. The hotel plays host for many an event throughout the year, but none as prestigious as the annual "Night Before" party preceeding Oscars Sunday. That was until Monday, when officials from the Motion Picture & Television Fund yanked the event right from under the Beverly Hills Hotel's red carpet.
The Hollywood Reporter reports:
MPTF’s top executives issued a statement to THR explaining that they expressed their “deep concern about the recent enactment of laws in Brunei that call for violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery. We expressed very clearly that we cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws and as a result support a business owned by the Sultan of Brunei or a Brunei sovereign fund associated with the government of Brunei."
The MPTF joins a growing boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel and other Dorchester Collection properties, which includes the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. On Sunday, Virgin Records mogul Richard Branson tweeted that neither his family nor Virgin employees would stay at Dorchester Collection hotels “until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”
The MPTF's statement reads:
"The Beverly Hills Hotel has been an incredible part of Hollywood history and a great supporter of many charities, including MPTF. We sincerely regret that the employees and management of the hotel may suffer because of our response and the response of many other organizations that have aligned against this outrageous and unacceptable legal code. It is our most sincere hope that change will occur and that we can once again continue our longstanding partnership with the Beverly Hills Hotel.”
For its part, the Dorchester Collection (the Sultan's hotel company) responded by saying that it "continues to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and does not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind. The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels. Dorchester Collection’s Code, endorsed by the company’s ownership, emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”
Did the MPTF make the right move, Instincters?