Pre-Oscars bash pulls out of Beverly Hills Hotel over anti-gay ownership
TORONTO — An annual pre-Oscars charity bash has been pulled out of the Beverly Hills Hotel due to its ties to Brunei, which has imposed new anti-gay laws.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund told The Hollywood Reporter it moved the Night Before the Oscars event from the hotel — where it has been held since 2003 — because it “cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws.”
The Beverly Hills Hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection, a subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency, which is controlled by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.
The penalty for committing a homosexual act in Brunei recently increased from a 10-year prison sentence to death by stoning.
Adultery remains punishable by stoning.
The Night Before the Oscars gala brings out Hollywood’s A-list every year.
Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry and Sharon Osbourne have taken to social media to support a boycott of Dorchester Collection hotels around the world.
The fashion industry is also boycotting the chain. Shoe designer Brian Atwood urged his colleagues not to patronize the Dorchester Collection hotels to “send a clear signal to their owner … that stoning people to death for being gay in Brunei is not acceptable.”
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson added his support last Saturday.
“No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights,” Branson tweeted to his four million followers.
The company has over 50,000 employees around the world.
Last Sunday, the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs said it will pull its Impact Awards event from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Late last month the Feminist Majority Foundation moved its Global Woman’s Rights Award, hosted by Jay Leno, out of the hotel.
A spokesperson for the hotel has said: “We do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.”
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