The controversial Sharia law has been on hold for four years, but, once put into effect on April 3, will make the punishment for Brunei citizens who committed those so-called crimes “death by “stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay, Clooney wrote in a piece for Deadline. “Let that sink in. In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone.” (Homosexuality is already illegal in the country — this law makes it a capital offense.)
While groups like Amnesty International are calling on Brunei to “immediately halt” implementing the penalties, Clooney is striking at Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s finances by boycotting hotels owned by the leader’s Brunei Investment Agency. They are The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Ascot, UK, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan. “Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote. (The Oscar winner admitted he has stayed at many of the hotels named, even recently, because he “hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know who owned them.”)
Hollywood mobilized against the sultan’s two L.A. hotels in 2014 when this law was first passed with stars including Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne and Jay Leno lending their support in person at the protest or through social media. However, Clooney pointed out, “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.” Miley Cyrus, Courtney Love, Kristen Stewart and Lady Gaga have attended recent events at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The renewed hotel boycott is getting support in just a few hours since he announced it. Lance Bass is all in, vowing, “I will never step foot in one of his hotels.”
I will never step foot in one of his hotels. George Clooney: Boycott Sultan Of Brunei’s Hotels Laws Against LGBTQs | Deadline https://t.co/re7nGVM1HN
— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) March 29, 2019
Jamie Lee Curtis called Clooney “a good man doing the right thing, fighting an unjust and barbaric law.”
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
Here are some of the other reactions we’ve seen:
I am following my friend George Clooney in boycotting all of the hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei following the April 3rd law in Brunei to stone and whip to death all gays. The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air, The Dorchester, Hotel Plaza Athenee, Hotel Eden and more. pic.twitter.com/Tp6iBYbRU8
— Jim Dobson (@TheLuxeWorld) March 28, 2019
It may not be a form of political activism open to all of us, but sometimes the global elite can lead the way. George Clooney: Boycott Sultan Of Brunei’s Hotels Over Cruel Anti-Gay Laws https://t.co/galpXz3kd0 via @deadline
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) March 29, 2019
And GLAAD applauded the star’s efforts.
Thank you, George Clooney. We're calling on all LGBTQ people and allies to follow suit and boycott the Sultan of Brunei’s hotels over the cruel anti-LGBTQ laws in the country. https://t.co/GpgS3ttIXM
— GLAAD (@glaad) March 28, 2019
Though former game show host Chuck Woolery’s post, sharing a Breitbart article on the topic, brought out critics.
— Chuck Woolery (@chuckwoolery) March 29, 2019
The replies were the typical anti-Hollywood ones, including:
Most of us can't afford those hotels so who is he speaking to, a few Hollywood shooting stars?
— David Harrod (@Magic_Tucson) March 29, 2019
Hotel? That should solve it.
— pas (@peanutandsnow) March 29, 2019
He thinks boycotting hotels will end this? Bless his heart.
— Becki Sue (@BurrissRebecca) March 29, 2019
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