Celebrity Event Canceled Over Connection to Sultan of Brunei

Illustration for article titled Celebrity Event Canceled Over Connection to Sultan of Brunei

The Hollywood Reporter pulled its annual "Women in Entertainment" breakfast from the Beverly Hills Hotel in a protest over the venue's connection to the Sultan of Brunei.

In an article posted to their website on Monday, THR cited "the hotel's ties to the Sultan of Brunei, who has instituted a severe new penal code based on Sharia law that calls for death by stoning for homosexuals" as the reason:

"The recent despicable decisions by the Sultan of Brunei make it impossible for us to consider moving forward in any way with any hotel that is part of the Dorchester Collection," said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media's Entertainment Group, which publishes The Hollywood Reporter. "We have huge respect for the local staff and management of the Beverly Hills Hotel and would like to thank them for two decades of partnership. We hope one day to be able to work together again."


The Dorchester Collection is owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah through the Brunei Investment Agency. Last week, Brunei became the first East Asian country to adopt sharia law, which calls for flogging, dismemberment and death by stoning for crimes such as rape, adultery and sodomy.


Numerous other events have also been cancelled at the hotel for the same reason:

On Monday, the Motion Picture & Television Fund said that it would not hold its glitzy Oscar-eve fundraising party, the Night Before, at the hotel. Other events that have moved from the hotel to other locations include the Feminist Majority Foundation's Global Women's Rights Awards, the Independent School Alliance for Minority Awards and a Teen Line fundraiser honoring Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Pascal. The Outgiving Conference, a meeting of LGBT donors, was the first event to pull up stakes. And the Human Rights Campaign Fund has urged other groups to follow suit.

The protest began as a grassroots campaign started by designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som along with boutique owner Cameron Silver. They asked their followers on social media join in a boycott. Celebs such as Sharon Osbourne have spoken out in support of the boycott.


Virgin group founder Richard Branson said his company's employees would no longer stay in Dorchester Collection hotels on business. Ellen DeGeneres and Stephen Fry also joined the boycott, among others.


The "Women in Entertainment" breakfast coincides with the December reveal of THR's annual list of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment. The event has taken place at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the past 20 years.

Image via Beverly Hills Hotel.

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