Stars join protestors in denouncing ownership of iconic Beverly Hills Hotel
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Such celebrities as former Tonight Show host Jay leno and Ellen DeGeneres have joined the picket lines outside of the iconic Hollywood business the Beverly Hills Hotel. The hotel is currently owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who supports harsh Islamic laws against women and homosexual in his native land of Brunei.
Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno joined the protests against the current ownership of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Brunei, a tiny, oil-rich Southeast Asian country is ruled under Islamic laws that include death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers.
In response, 20 events have been canceled at the Beverly Hills property, at a loss of about $2 million in revenue for the hotel. Local politicians and celebrities are also boycotting the nearby Hotel Bel Air, the hotel's more subdued sister property.
Both Leno and DeGeneres are urging boycott, and the Beverly Hills mayor and council are calling for Dorchester to sell the famed hotel.
Dorchester, which runs 10 hotels world-wide, is looking to expand globally and has said it is seeking to acquire a luxury property in New York. The publicity surrounding protests against the company could complicate efforts to operate a Manhattan hotel.
The participation of Hollywood's A-list in the boycott has been significant as the hotel has long been a see-and-be-seen spot to eat, sleep and fundraise.
"When we heard what was going on in Brunei, we said that doesn't fit with our philosophy," Elaine Leader, head of a teen support organization says. Her group abruptly moved a fundraising event for 500 people honoring Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal from the Beverly Hills Hotel to the Sony Pictures lot this week.
Coming events like a "Women in Entertainment" breakfast thrown by the Hollywood Reporter in December, and a "Night Before the Oscars" fundraiser held by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, have also been moved from the hotel.
Dorchester's London-based chief executive, Christopher Cowdray says that Dorchester hotels is a big employer, pays taxes and "abides by the laws of the countries in which we operate."
Cowdray added that the Brunei Investment Agency, the government investment vehicle that owns Dorchester, is a "long-term investor" and that a sale of the Los Angeles-area properties was "unlikely."
The Beverly Hills city council unanimously approved a resolution this week condemning Brunei for its new laws, and urging Brunei to sell its Beverly Hills property.
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