The venerable Beverly Hills Hotel is beginning to feel the impact of the industry’s outrage over the anti-LGBT and anti-female laws enacted in Brunei, the home country of hotel owner Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
The tally of events exiting the hotel include the glitzy Night Before fundraiser that brings the A-list out to support the Motion Picture Television Fund on the night before the Oscars.
“Representatives of MPTF met with the leadership of the Dorchester Collection and executives from the Beverly Hills Hotel to convey our 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,” MPTF chairman Bob Pisano, vice chairman Mark Fleischer and prexy-CEO Bob Beitcher said in a joint statement. “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 Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs is also moving Tuesday’s Impact Awards to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and nonprofit organization Teen Line is moving its upcoming tribute to Sony’s Amy Pascal out of the hotel. The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) joined the boycott on Tuesday, and announced that it pulled its Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony from the venue.
The Feminist Majority Foundation, which announced last week that it is pulling its annual Global Women’s Rights Awards from the hotel, held a rally across the street from the hotel at noon Monday.
On Saturday, Virgin’s Richard Branson Tweeted that he and his team would also be boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel and others in the Dorchester Collection chain.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) May 3, 2014
Dorchester Collection CEO Christopher Cowdray issued a statement on Monday saying these boycotts will have an economic impact on the hotels’ staffs and that his is not the only local company in this situation.
“Today’s global economy needs to be placed in a broader perspective,” he said. “Most of us are not aware of the investors behind the brands that have become an integral part of every day life, from the gas we put in our cars, to the clothes we wear, to the way we use social media, and to the hotels we frequent. American companies across the board are funded by foreign investment, including Sovereign Wealth Funds.”