It started with George Clooney and has now grown into a worldwide movement. The actor and other Hollywood and Fashion stars are calling for a boycott of the global hotel chain the Dorchester Collection which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, an arm of Brunei’s Ministry of Finance, because the country has just enacted strict Sharia laws which includes death by stoning, the severing of limbs, and flogging for crimes in Brunei such as abortions, adultery, and homosexual acts. The celebrity boycott of this global hotel chain has pit George Clooney against one of the richest men on the planet, but he’s not backing down.
The Dorchester Collection operates nine luxury hotels in the US and Europe including, The Dorchester, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Plaza Athénée, Hotel Meurice, Principe di Savoia, Hotel Bel-Air, Coworth Park, 45 Park Lane and Hotel Eden.
“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 in an opinion piece for Deadline.
This controversy is not new. In fact it started in 2014 when the Sultan of Brunei first announced the intention to implement Sharia law. The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air are iconic destinations for the Hollywood Elite who opposed the severe penalties. An original boycott five years ago created a stir, but the celebrity boycott this time is growing fast as Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and many others have joined the call to stay away from the entire chain, not just the Hollywood haunts.
This current celebrity boycott has had an effect as the Dorchester Collection just announced that they have suspended their social media pages. But not all celebrities agree. The original boycott was unpopular with Russell Crowe and Kim Kardashian who argued it only hurt the hotel’s employees and this time around there will be skeptics. This current bad publicity however is taking a toll. A friend in LA confirms celebrities are staying away from The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air at least for now.