George Clooney is calling for the boycott of Dorchester Collection’s hotels, including The Beverly Hills Hotels and Hotel Bel-Air in California, after he says their owner has actively discriminated against the LGBTQ community.
In his commentary for film news site Deadline posted Thursday (Mar 28), Clooney started with Brunei’s new law, a death penalty that allows stoning people who engage in homosexual activities.
“On this particular April 3rd, the nation of Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in. In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism, this stands alone,” wrote Clooney.
In his column, the actor spoke out against the Sultan of Brunei, the head of the Brunei Investment Agency, which owns the Dorchester Collection of hotels and resorts. "At the head of it all is the Sultan of Brunei, who is one of the richest men in the world. The Big Kahuna," wrote the star. “He owns the Brunei Investment Agency and they in turn own some pretty spectacular hotels.
“They own nine of the most exclusive hotels in the world. Full disclosure: I’ve stayed at many of them, a couple of them recently, because I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know who owned them.”
Clooney continued: "A couple of years ago, two of those hotels in Los Angeles, The Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel, were boycotted by many of us for Brunei’s treatment of the gay community. It was effective to a point," he wrote. "But like all good intentions, when the white heat of outrage moves on to the hundred other reasons to be outraged, the focus dies down and slowly, these hotels get back to the business of business.
“They’re nice hotels. The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties. But let’s be clear, 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.”
He added: "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."
In response to Clooney’s column, Beverly Hills Hotel communications director Brittany Williams shared a statement with USA TODAY on behalf of the Dorchester Collection.
“Dorchester Collection’s Code (emphasises) equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees. Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”