Russell Crowe Opposes Beverly Hills Hotel Boycott: Employees Are 'Collateral Damage'
The actor calls the anti-gay laws in Brunei "horrifying," but says the boycott only hurts the hotel's employees: "These are hard-working people with families."
Russell Crowe is speaking out against the boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
In a series of tweets, the actor says he is a supporter of LGBT rights and condemns the harsh anti-gay laws adopted by the hotel's owner, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei. But he said the boycott is not the way to respond.
"Throwing the staff of Dorchester Collection Hotels under the bus to make a political point is not acceptable to me," Crowe tweeted Tuesday. "These are hard-working people with families, and I guarantee you they come from all walks of life."
"It is not acceptable collateral damage to ignore them," he added.
Instead of the boycott, he urged people to pressure their governments to impose trade sanctions on Brunei and stop buying its oil.
The hotel has faced a backlash from industry notables and LGBT groups after the sultanate instituted Sharia law. Its harsh penal code makes adultery and same-sex relationships punishable by death by stoning. The Beverly Hills Hotel is part of the Dorchester Group of properties, owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.
Notables who have joined the growing chorus of voices boycotting the hotel include Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne, Richard Branson and director William Friedkin.
Crowe is arguably the highest-profile person on the other side of the argument.
See his tweets below.
#1 Sending me abuse will not stop my support of Gay , Lesbian, Bi and Trans Gender rights. The laws that Brunei are adopting are hideous.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 20, 2014
#2 however, throwing the staff of Dorchester Collection Hotels under the bus to make a political point is not acceptable to me.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 20, 2014
#3 these are hard working people with families and I guarantee you they come from all walks of life— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 20, 2014
#4 to me, it is not acceptable collateral damage to ignore them . These are people I know ,people I consider friends— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 20, 2014
#5 the decision to enact these laws is reprehensible and horrifying. Pressure your govt to cease trade contact, refuse to use Brunei oil— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 20, 2014