Los Angeles Confidential magazine will move forward with its Feb. 5 awards-season party at the Beverly Hills Hotel even after singer John Legend declined to participate in the event because of an ongoing boycott over the policies of the property’s owner, a company controlled by the sultan of Brunei.
The magazine’s event is tied to its annual awards issue, with Legend on the cover. The evening precedes the Feb. 8 Grammys by a few days. Since a boycott against the hotel was launched in April of 2014, some organizations have moved their awards season parties to other venues. The Motion Picture & Television Fund moved its annual Night Before party to a soundstage on the Fox lot.
Alison Miller, publisher of Los Angeles Confidential, which is owned by Niche Media Holdings, said in a statement that they “respect Mr. Legend’s decision not to attend the event, and believe that each individual, company and organization must make their own decision as to how they communicate their positions on political, social and civil rights.”
The Human Rights Campaign has been among the groups leading a boycott of the hotel and other properties in the Dorchester Collection, citing Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s imposition of brutal penal codes that include stoning of women and brutal punishments for gay and lesbian relationships. Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, sent a letter to Miller on Tuesday, calling for the magazine to reconsider its decision to hold the event at the hotel.
But Niche Media Holdings CEO Katherine Nicholls noted that the hotel, which employs 650 people, has other major economic impact on the region. “To boycott all companies and hotels with affiliations and ownership in nations that do not share our beliefs would cause serious financial harm and damage to the Los Angeles community, and the American economy,” she said.