Will Call for Boycott of Beverly Hills Hotels Boost Business in Gay-Friendly WeHo?

Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills Hotel

In what could provide a boost to gay-friendly West Hollywood’s hotel business, a group of New York City gay activists are calling for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air. The two Beverly Hills hotels are owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. Bolkiah is putting into effect a system of laws based on the Islamic Shariah that calls for death by stoning, severing of arms and legs and flogging for those who commit adultery, have abortions or engage in gay sex.

Sultan of Brunei
Sultan of Brunei
The two Beverly Hills hotels are part of the Dorchester Collection, an international group owned by Bolkiah, who lives in a 1,200 room palace on the island of Borneo and reputedly is worth $20 billion.

“It’s archaic. It’s brutal. It’s disgraceful,” Allen Roskoff, president of New York’s Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, told the New York Post. “These hotels should be shunned by everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. They should be put out of business. My guess is they [Brunei authorities] don’t treat women much better.”

Roskoff said rooms and events at the hotels already are being cancelled. “We are sending letters to everyone in the travel industry,” he said. The Washington Blade newspaper has reported that the Gill Action Fund, a major LGBT rights organization, has cancelled a planned May 1-4 meeting of major donors to gay rights campaigns at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“In light of the horrific anti-gay policy approved by the Government of Brunei, Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property,” Kirk Fordham, executive director of Gill Action, told the Blade last week. “We are seeking a return of all deposits.“

According to the Hollywood Reporter, shoe designer Brian Atwood and fashion designer Peter Som have called for boycotts of other hotels in the Dorchester Collection that are preferred venues for fashion buyers and journalists attending major fashion shows. They include the Principe de Savoia in Milan, Le Meurice in Paris and the Dorchester in London.

“We do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind,” the Beverly Hills Hotel said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “The laws and policies that govern how we run our hotel have nothing to do with the laws that exist in any other country.”

  1. The BH Courier is engaging in censorship of the news & they should be ashamed of themselves. They should report the news as it factually occurs. That doesn’t mean they need to pass any judgment or editorialize on what they report, or that they need to support the boycotts of these hotels. but that they need to be responsible to the standards of honest reporting & journalism. In this case they are doing neither & their disingenuousness will call their professionalism & reliability & integrity into question in the future.

  2. I want to know why every time I go to website or Facebook page of the Beverly Hills Courier they are still not covering the story. So many social events occur at that hotel and are covered by that newspaper, yet they ignore the news in their own front door. Are they making money off the hotel somehow, are the supporting the Sultan and the Royal family like many celebs who have attended his son’s birthday parties or sung for the Family? It is time others besides just myself pressure the BH Courier to cover ALL the news!

  3. Glad to see the broadened interest in the Sultan’s local holdings. A year ago, when a small group of local activists protested outside of the Beverly Hills Hotel, you could hear the scoffing all the way to Brunei. Whether a boycott hurts the Sultan’s pocketbook is secondary to doing the right thing for its own sake.

  4. “How did intelligent people like Chris Sanger and Rudolph Martin include The Beverly Hilton into this discussion?”

    To answer your question: it happens the same way that you would misspell my name although it is right there on the page ahead of the comment that you are so outraged about getting something wrong.

    What an unforgivable ‘faux pas’ it is to some to get the hotel that hosts the Golden Globes wrong? Hopefully you can get off your high horse and calm down. The gist of my comment is not about the GGs. Just scratch those six words from my comment and take a deep breath.

  5. I also hope this will help put to rest the idea in statements made by certain misguided “community leaders” that we now live in a “post gay rights era”, that we have won the right so we should surrender the fight. Nothing could be further from the truth. From this example of stoning to death in Brunei to the 2012 known hangings of gay men in Iran to the anti gay movement inspired & further inflamed by Putin in Russia to the anti gay laws in numerous African countries to the examples of gay hatred & discrimination in American schools, churches & politics, I think it is safe to say that the fight continues & we should not put down our guard based on anyone’s self serving political rhetoric. No suppressed minority in history fighting for rights & equality has ever flown a “mission accomplished” flag & it is unlikely that any will do so any time soon. So the fight goes on

  6. Thank you Lynn! I thought I missed something and went and re-read the article. Nowhere in the article was The Beverly Hilton mentioned. How did intelligent people like Chris Sanger and Rudolph Martin include The Beverly Hilton into this discussion?

  7. Lynn – thx for catching my mistake. Yes, I read too quickly.

    Plenty of other reasons though to ignore the GGs.

  8. To the folks that are unable to read and/or comprehend whatever read, the article speaks not of The Beverly Hilton. If one looks for trouble one will find it. Good luck with the Golden Globes!

  9. Exactly, Chris Sanger! I agree with Allen Roskoff, not only the gay community should lead the boycott but also pro choicers and adulterers, which covers pretty much 99% of their clientele, certainly of the Golden Globes crowd. Must be an uncomfortable feeling to stay at a hotel, knowing that the owner would like to see you stoned to death.

  10. Here’s how to build on this – the Beverly Hilton is the host for numerous industry events, including the Golden Globes.
    Let’s start asking nominees and those asked to present to refuse to attend the GGs and other events if held there. No stars at the GGs means no GGs, which the whole industry knows is a joke and just a marketing event.
    All the studios rents expensive suites for parties at the BH. Go to Harvey Weinstein and have him take the lead in boycotting the hotel. He’s supposed to be a big friend.
    Some action on this front will get attention.

  11. Just because the Sultan knows how to hold a tea cup he thinks he’s civilized. Wrong. Get a real culture that falls in line with what God would ACTUALLY want for his/her creations: : love and peace. If you can’t figure that out, you ignorant caveman, than get out of our country.

  12. “The laws and policies that govern how we run our hotel have nothing to do with the laws that exist in any other country.”

    SORRY…but the profits from these hotels do.

    See ya!

  13. If I worked there…I’d be looking for another job. This place is doomed under this ignorant monster’s ownership.

    Spread the word…

  14. There are many hotels in West Hollywood that may not be nearly as glamorous but have a great deal to offer. They don’t advertise enough nor really need to but whenever I have friends or family visit I tell them Le Parc is wonderful to to its intimacy and great location and large all suites rooms. I’m not shocked who owns Beverly Hills hotel but its nice to know! It’s nice to know where your money is being spent and to who ultimately profits.

  15. It’s really stunning that this is taking place in our own front yard & at two of the world’s most famous & glamorous & historic hotels. I have been a guest at both numerous times, all magical experiences. While of course they say they don’t discriminate, you can bet that, given the chance in this country, the Sultan of Brunei would have his gay guests beheaded or stoned to death before they hit the porte cochere. I don’t think shutting such established places down is feasible, as suggested in this article, but those who have taken the lead in this action need to be supported in every possible way. Even the suggestion of stoning people to death or cutting off their limbs in the name of religious beliefs in this day & age is chilling. But we must never believe it can’t happen here.

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