George Clooney calls for hotel boycott over Brunei anti-LGBTQ laws

George Clooney arrives at the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to George Clooney on June 7, 2018, in Hollywood, Calif. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine luxury hotels in Brunei over the country’s recently implemented anti-LGBTQ laws.

Starting next week, Brunei will implement plans to impose death by stoning as punishment for adultery and “gay sex.”

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In an op-ed for Hollywood publication Deadline, Clooney outlined why he thinks this elite-level activism would work, but he also encouraged people around the world to boycott hotels operated by the Dorchester Collection luxury chain (there are two in the United States — The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in California — and seven in Europe).

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The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is run by Brunei’s ministry of finance.

“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 the op-ed.

“Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”

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The A-list actor made it clear he doesn’t harbour any angst against the hotel workers themselves, just the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, and members of his government who support the anti-LGTBQ laws.

“I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them,” he wrote. “But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”

Brunei, a small country in southeast Asia, announced in 2013 that it would begin implementing sharia law. Run by Bolkiah, whose estimated wealth is an astounding $20 billion, the country will start enforcing the LGBTQ law on April 3. Bolkiah called the penal code a “great achievement.”

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The Beverly Hills Hotel communications director told U.K. publication The Guardian that the Dorchester Collection’s code “emphasizes equality, respect and integrity,” and it does not “tolerate any form of discrimination.”


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