Kim Kardashian Weighs in on Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott

Kim Kardashian Beverly Hills Hotel
Richard Bord/Getty Images

Kim Kardashian isn’t the only Hollywood figure who has taken issue with the Beverly Hills Hotel due to the actions of the hotel owner Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, but the newlywed thinks boycotting the hotel may not be the best way to make an impact.

The reality star — and wife of Kanye West — took to her official website Monday morning to share her opinion on the situation and call for a different type of action.

Kardashian, who posted about her fond memories of riding her bike to meet her father, the late Robert Kardashian, at the hotel’s coffee shop, noted that boycotting the hotel “doesn’t even make a dent in [the Sultan of Brunei’s] fortunes” but negatively affects the establishment’s employees, many of whom Kardashian says she has come to know personally.

Kardashian wrote that she and a friend were planning to visit the hotel due to its strict anti-paparazzi policy before reconsidering due to the boycott, but then decided that “the hotel staff are being negatively affected every day with the boycott that has gone on for weeks now… We shouldn’t punish the amazing hard-working people who have been so good to us for years!”

Though Kardashian moved her recent bridal shower from the Beverly Hills Hotel to the Peninsula Hotel due to anti-LGBT and anti-female laws enacted in the sultan’s native Brunei, she now seems to be backing a different approach.

“Boycotting the hotel won’t affect the sultan, just our dear friends who work there,” she opined.

Kardashian’s view is certainly shared by employees of the Dorchester Collection hotel, who have taken to social media to plead with customers to return. A Facebook page, We Are the Beverly Hills Hotel, asks the public to “Stand With Us,” and the workers have created a YouTube video to showcase their diversity.

“We also respect the right of all Americans to protest,” the Facebook page says. “But we respectfully request that all those who are boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel review the facts and weigh the consequences and benefits of their actions.

“While the hotel has pledged to protect us by maintaining wages and making up for lost tips, the uncertainty of how long the boycott will last and the countless lost opportunities to work overtime or earn more tips significantly and negatively impacts us. At the end of the day, this boycott targets us, our families and our livelihood,” they wrote.

The boycott originated as a result of the sultan’s plans to impose Sharia law in Brunei, including punishments such as death by stoning for gays and lesbians and the flogging of women who have abortions.

Business at both the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air has dropped significantly since various orgs began pulling high-profile events from the venues, and protesters have taken to the streets on several occasions to demand that the sultan sell the properties.

The Motion Picture Television Fund pulled its pre-Oscars Night Before fundraiser from the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs moved its Image Awards to the Beverly Wilshire. Nonprofit org Teen Line followed suit by moving its tribute to Amy Pascal, while the International Women’s Media Foundation pulled its Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony from the hotel.

After relocating its annual Global Women’s Rights Awards from the hotel, the Feminist Majority Foundation held a rally across the way from the hotel on May 5, joined by supporters including Jay Leno and his wife Mavis.

The Human Rights Campaign has planned another protest at the same location (Will Rogers Memorial Park) slated to take place June 27. Supporters outside of L.A. will gather peacefully in Paris, Milan, London and Washington D.C.

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  1. goodbye bev hills hotel….goodbye forever.

  2. Matt says:

    If this hotel was going out of business due to a more typical reason (competition, economy, etc), would she be voicing her concern towards the ones employed? How often have I heard her speak of the injustices suffered by the employees of Walmart? There are many people who have been suffering unemployment due to a variety of circumstances. Finally, people are standing up for what’s right and now they’re being guilt tripped by an elitist because it might put an elitist hotel out of business. Keep boycotting it.

  3. Frank Sanderos says:

    What has Kim Kardashian EVER done for the gay community? Absolutely nothing. In fact, her brother was caught beating a gay dude outside a club a number of years ago while hurling homophobic insults and on their reality show, they consistently use gay slurs. A family of devout Christians (so they claim) who have never lifted a finger to support LGBT rights is not qualified to dictate to LGBT how we can organize regarding an issue that concerns us.

  4. Andy says:

    The boycott has been misguided from the start. The hotel is run independently and has been a good friend of our community. Plus, lots of us work there! The Beverly Hills Hotel recognized same-sex partnerships before gay marriage was legalized by recognizing and offering insurance to the same-sex partners of workers. It has donated facilities and money to our cause. It advertises openly that it welcomes same-sex wedding celebrations.

    But, you say, it’s owned by a country with Sharia Law. The United Arab Emerates, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and many other countries with dubious human rights records, are heavily invested in the West, in hotels and movies, in Apple and Twitter, in Citigroup, Four Seasons and Fairmont hotels, Time Warner and Valentino to name a very few. In fact, Qatar Investment Authority (the sovereign wealth fund of the Sharia nation of Qatar) is the lead investor of Miramax Films.

    But most of these countries’ money doesn’t come from any of these investments, large as they may be. It comes from oil. It comes from the oil we all use.

    And therein lies the both the flaw and the hypocrisy of the boycott. To threaten the demise of The Beverly Hills Hotel does not begin to touch the Sultan financially or politically. The hotel doesn’t pay his check, Shell oil does. Using the hotel as leverage is really no leverage at all.

  5. DeShawn says:

    Kim, a porn queen who married a rapper, should keep her opinions to herself.

  6. sandy says:

    Kim’s letter is only very slightly different than a letter that appeared on the LA TImes Opinion page almost exactly one month ago (May 25, 2014), written by Matthew Fleischer. Fleischer takes a wider view, however, and his opinion is more fully considered. My feeling is that in matters where personal freedom and physical safety are in peril under the law (as is the case with sharai under the Sultan), one must protest. Of course I understand the need for a continuous source of income, e.g., paychecks for the hotel employees, but I wonder how many of them are women, gay men, or lesbians (the groups affected by the sultanate’s prejudicial, violent law). They betray themselves by furthering the wealth of a man who in principle believes they should die or suffer because of who they are. How can anyone make excuses for this situation?

  7. Lincoln says:

    I never thought I’d agree with Sex Tape Ho Kim.

  8. Jerry Cecere says:

    Thanks, Johnny, for your enlightening explanation of the hospitality scene in BH/LA. As you point out, there are no “simple” problem solutions any longer – if there ever were! Case in point: Iraq.

    I’m glad to learn that Dorchester is such an excellent employer. Hotel patrons will likely make their plans in accordance with their knowledge of the situation and their consciences. Best wishes.

  9. Jerry Cecere says:

    KK’s decision appears to be based on sentiment and nostalgia, not uncommon in contemporary culture. It is unfortunate that the hotel’s employees are caught up in a boycott based on some rather serious moral principles, but they are. Does this make them complicit in and supportive of the owner’s inhumane principles? Were I an employee in such an establishment I would seriously consider alternative employment elsewhere in the hospitality industry. By extension, would one support an industry whose owners arbitrarily murdered innocent people with whom they disagreed? With due respect to the establishment’s loyal and dedicated staff, perhaps they should consider working elsewhere. Yes, this reasoning would keep me from seeking to be a governmental employee.

    • Johnny says:

      Thank you for your genuine response. However, none of the employees wants to work for another hotel. Between The BHH & Hotel Bel-Air, that’s 1,000 employees. Do you think there are 1,000 other jobs in the hospitality industry in this city? Not to mention that the upcoming “protest” (this time, allegedly “with” HRC) is–like the one before–being organized by a local hotel union! (And I always thought unions were supposed to *help* employees … not true in *this* case!)

      However, Jerry, let’s just say the employees do go and work for The Four Seasons or The Peninsula. Who’s to say that there won’t be another boycott there, too? If The BHH hotel were sold, what if someone else bought it, someone with whom folks didn’t agree with their political or religious beliefs? There are so many investors in everything these days with ties to Islamic and Sharia Law … it is rather unavoidable. The BHH is being made a focal point ONLY because a local hotel union wants union dues. Nothing more, nothing less. The employees don’t need this union because they work for Dorchester (not the Sultan), and Dorchester is an amazing company to work for.

      Do you really want the place to close down and become a Hilton? Plus, changing owners will not change Sharia Law, so I’m going to have to agree with KK on this one. Keep the pressure on the President, the Embassy of Brunei, the Trade Commission … not a hotel in the heart of Beverly Hills. Because, I can assure you, it means nothing to The Sultan. However, your concern is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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