Ellen DeGeneres Backs Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott as Brunei Anti-Gay Law Goes Into Effect
The talk show host went public with her renewed support of the Brunei-owned hotel boycott.
Ellen DeGeneres shared her renewed support for the boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel, as well as all Dorchester Collection properties, just ahead of Brunei's anti-gay law going into effect Wednesday.
The boycott stemmed from outrage against hotel owner Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who is the leader of the Southeast Asian country. In 2014, Brunei called for the implementation of Sharia law, which calls for stoning, amputation and other penalties for such crimes as theft, adultery and homosexuality. It was announced in March that he planned to put the law into effect April 3.
"Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now," DeGeneres tweeted Tuesday. "Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up."
The tweet was accompanied by a photo that listed the hotels, urging people to boycott the Sultan of Brunei-owned establishments.
Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up. pic.twitter.com/24KJsemPGH— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 2, 2019
The daytime talk show host publicly supported the boycott in 2014. Tuesday's tweet is the first time DeGeneres has spoken out against Brunei since Bolkiah renewed his call for the law. "I won't be visiting the Hotel Bel-Air or the Beverly Hills Hotel until this is resolved," she wrote in her original tweet.
Even before 2014, homosexuality was punishable in the country and residents could be sentenced for up to 10 years in jail. The first stages of the new law also feature fines and jail time for offenses, including pregnancy out of wedlock and failing to pray on Fridays.
DeGeneres is one of the many Hollywood figures to speak out against the Sultan of Brunei. Other stars who have backed the boycott include George Clooney, Elton John, Ellen Pompeo and Queer Eye's Bobby Berk, though activist James Duke Mason, in a column for The Hollywood Reporter, has called out some stars for condemning the boycott and then attending events at the hotels.
"Hopefully this will send the message to the Sultan that if he thinks he can get away with this without a significant cost, he’s wrong. This horrific injustice cannot stand and it’s up to us to prove it," Mason wrote in the guest column. "We can make a real difference by boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Hotel Bel-Air and all Dorchester properties."