The Beverly Hills Hotel is the target of an entertainment industry boycott, along with the Hotel Bel-Air, following protests from feminists and gay rights activists. Bloomberg reports that the two facilities, which host a number of high-profile entertainment events, are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
Bookings were canceled by nine entertainment industry events to protest the sultanate’s enactment of Islamic criminal law, the Bloomberg story reports.
The law was enacted last week by Brunei, and includes death by stoning for rape, adultery and sodomy. Brunei has drawn criticism from the United Nations for the decision.
The cancellations include the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Awards, which was scheduled for earlier this month and was to include former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno and his wife as co-chairmen of the awards.
The Los Angeles Times notes that Leno joined a protest Monday along Sunset Boulevard across from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Leno told the protesters, “This is 2014, not 1814,” according to the report.
"Organizers have abruptly canceled several events planned for the Beverly Hills Hotel, and big names such as Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Branson and Sharon Osbourne have taken to social media to promote boycotts," the Times report adds.
Other cancellations may come, with the Motion Picture & Television Fund saying it may shift its Night Before the Oscars fundraiser from the Beverly Hills Hotel next year if the law isn’t changed, the Bloomberg story notes.
“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,” fund Chairman Bob Pisano, Vice Chairman Mark Fleischer, and CEO Bob Beitcher said in a statement.
Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive of the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels, which include the properties targeted by the protest, told Bloomberg that the hotels are “autonomously run and in that way not tied to Brunei. Religious or political views have no place in our organization.”