George Clooney, Sharon Stone, George Takei, Elton John, and more called for a boycott of Brunei-owned hotels after the country enacted a new law that would punish adultery and homosexual acts with the death penalty.
According to CNN, the small Islamic nation of Brunei located on the island of Borneo will begin stoning to death individuals found guilty of adultery and homosexual sex acts on April 3rd. ZeroHedge reports these “new laws were announced five years ago with the nation’s adoption of Sharia law.” Over the last fifty-one years, the tiny Islamic island nation has been ruled by the same person, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who acts as the absolute monarch of Brunei. Homosexuality had already been ruled illegal in the country.
The new laws have received significant pushback from Hollywood elites. Former Batman actor George Clooney is spearheading a boycott effort against the island nation. Clooney wrote an op-ed in Deadline calling for a boycott of nine luxury hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. Those hotels 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
Not only is Clooney calling for a boycott of the hotels, but he also wants to “shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.” In fact, Clooney is quite clear that he thinks a boycott of the hotels won’t work because they’ve done it before.
“But like all good intentions when the white heat of outrage moves on to the hundred other reasons to be outraged, the focus dies down and slowly these hotels get back to the business of business. And the Brunei Investment Agency counts on that.”
In fact, Clooney admits he’s stayed in these hotels recently.
“Full disclosure: I’ve stayed at many of them, a couple of them recently, because I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know who owned them.”
Clooney isn’t alone in calling for the boycott. Musician Elton John called for a boycott and echoed Clooney’s sentiments.
Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei, many of whom we know to be gay.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) March 30, 2019
We must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable. That’s why David and I have long refused to stay at these hotels and will continue to do so.
We hope you will join us in solidarity.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) March 30, 2019
Elton John and Clooney aren’t alone. Actress Sharon Stone, who starred in Total Recall, also took to Twitter to decry the actions of the hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. She specifically singled out two of the California based hotels, the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air:
Please boycott the #BeverlyHillsHotel and the #HotelBelAir as this law has been restarted!!!!! This is the owner. Thank you. S
Brunei Bans Buggery; Gays To Be Stoned To Death Under Sharia Law | Zero Hedge https://t.co/g3Bu17QQtE
— Sharon Stone (@sharonstone) March 29, 2019
Halloween star Jamie Curtis also stood by George Clooney, calling him a good man for doing the right thing. She called the new law both unjust and barbaric and also supports the boycotts of the hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
I stand with George Clooney, a good man doing the right thing, fighting an unjust and barbaric law. George Clooney: Boycott Sultan Of Brunei’s Hotels Laws Against LGBTQs | Deadline https://t.co/fjR2hv1sTb
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) March 28, 2019
Others have also made it clear they support Clooney and Elton John.
My husband Jesus Salguerio and I join George Clooney,Sir Elton John and others boycotting the Sultan of Brunei’s hotels for his proposed heinous acts against the LGBTQ community in Brunei.
— Chef Art Smith (@ChefArtSmith) April 1, 2019
Brunei’s decision to punish LGBTI communities with the death penalty is appalling. I join those voices urging the government to reverse its decision.https://t.co/sZ01vDlO2o
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) April 1, 2019
Thank you, sir. These laws are just awful. https://t.co/3F7K7b0KNm
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 30, 2019
We must condemn these extreme attacks on the LGBTQ community anywhere and everywhere in the world. These human rights abuses cannot be tolerated. https://t.co/qrNhlecoht
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 30, 2019
Rachel Chhoa-Howard of Amnesty International also condemned the new enforcement measures:
“Brunei must immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments, and revise its Penal Code in compliance with its human rights obligations. The international community must urgently condemn Brunei’s move to put these cruel penalties into practice.”
But Brunei isn’t the only nation that invokes the state to kill those in the LGBT community. ZeroHedge reports there are 11 other countries including Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. In fact, they point to Kingom Hotel Investments that is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed. The hotel company owns nearly 50% of the Four Seasons hotel chain.
The Washington Post reported back in 2016 that Afghanistan, Iran, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Mauritania, and the United Arab Emirates all have laws that punish homosexual acts by death. There are also 65 countries where homosexual acts are illegal, which include India, Pakistan, and Chad.
What do you make of Clooney’s call for a boycott of Brunei? Do you think it will make a significant change? Do you think they will extend their boycott to the Four Seasons?