Gay Rights: George Clooney Urges Hotel Boycott Over Brunei’s LGBT Laws

(Photo Credits: Michael Vlasaty [CC BY 2.0])

Actor George Clooney’s call for hotel boycott—the ones owned by the Sultan of Brunei through his Brunei Investment Agency—comes after news had broken out that the Nation of Brunei will punish gay sex and adultery with death by stoning or whipping. The law is poised to take effect in this small country located in Southeast Asia next week on April 3, Wednesday, and according to CNN, the punishment to individuals found guilty will be “witnessed by a group of Muslims.” 

Clooney wrote in an opinion column for Deadline that the hotels are nice and their workers are kind and helpful and certainly they have “no part in the ownership of these properties.” But that, he explained, “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 added, “Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens? I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

Further, Clooney identified the Sultan-owned hotels as follows:

  • The Dorchester, London
  • 45 Park Lane, London
  • Coworth Park, UK
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills
  • Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles
  • Le Meurice, Paris
  • Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
  • Hotel Eden, Rome
  • Hotel Principe di Savoia, Milan 

Read Clooney’s appeals for boycott here.

The Sharia Penal Code was first announced in 2014. It was supposed to “have been rolled out gradually” but it received “so much backlash” that, according to Human Rights Watch senior researcher of LGBT rights Neela Ghoshal in an interview with The Washington Post, “the government put [them] on hold until a time that nobody was paying attention.” 

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  1. Nathan

    George is a wise, wise man.

    He understands the power of money and money talks. Rose Kennedy once said: “It isn’t how much money you have, it is well you use it.”

    George knows how to ‘get-the-ball-rolling’…destroy its funding base. Protest the aforementioned Hotels and spread it…accordingly. Shame its owners and those who support them and watch as their customer base begins to twindle.

    The eventually of it all…once word gets around about Brunei and its inhumanity ,and the purse may begin to empty.

    However, to be effective, it has to be a unified movement and it has to endure as time and pressure, exerted…individually and collectively…will be erosive and reductive.

  2. Matt

    Hollywood needs to stop inserting itself in politics. It really is that simple. Clooney is tolerant as long as you agree with him and do as he says (typical Liberal stance). It’s sheer narcissism that drives celebrities to think that their opinion should matter on a world scale. But they are wrong.

  3. robert

    I think asking for a boycott is futile. It will not change the Sultan’s mind on the laws and it will only hurt employees of the hotel who will not earn tips or face possible layoff. The best way is to directly engage the Sultan in talks and try to convince him that these laws are inhumane. That may not work either but at least you did no harm while trying to deliver a message to someone.

  4. Paul Reese

    I love when Straight Actors and People put up for the Rights of Gay People,, Meaning also we are just people, In Matters of the heart who can say. We love who our hearts tell us to love. So Thank you George !

  5. marc

    I think the most powerful thing a celebrity can do with his or her popularity is put a spotlight on a humanitarian problem such as this one. After that, it is up to the public to decide if that issue is important enough to do something about it. I’m sure many people have said something about this but it took a celebrity who happens to have more people willing to listen to what he has to say that brought more attention to this situation. I think he provided human citizen a positive public service in this notification. I prefer this kind of service than a celebrity telling me who to vote for in an election.

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