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Agents from ICM Partners won’t be found doing lunch at either The Beverly Hills Hotel or the Hotel Bel-Air, which have become the target of a growing boycott targeting the Sultan of Brunei’s recent implementation of Sharia law in his country.
The agency’s partners sent an email earlier this week to employees telling them that expenses will not be reimbursed for either of the hotels until further notice.
Brunei’s new penal code, which calls for the stoning to death of gays and adulterers, has already led major philanthropic events like the Motion Picture & Television Fund‘s Night Before the Oscars party, a luncheon for the Carousel of Hope Benefit, the J.J. Abrams-chaired Children’s Defense Fund gala and The Hollywood Reporter‘s own Women in Entertainment breakfast to cancel bookings at the storied Pink Palace.
A visit Wednesday to the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge by two THR reporters found many empty tables at the spot, which is normally bustling during lunch time.
In response to the boycott, Christopher Cowdray, CEO of the Dorchester Collection, the subsidiary of the Brunei Investment Agency that owns and operates the hotels, has said, “While we recognize people’s concerns, we believe this boycott should not be directed to our hotels and dedicated employees. The economic impact of this not only affects our loyal team members but extends to the local community, our valued partners and suppliers.”
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