Toronto City Councillor Urges Boycott of Trump's Hotel for His "Bigoted and Hateful" Comments
"There's a strong message if the film industry says we're not going to hold celebrations at buildings that hold the Trump name," said politician Josh Matlow.
Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow wants Hollywood not to host film afterparties and dinners at The Trump International Hotel & Tower at the Toronto Film Festival next month after Donald Trump's "hateful" rhetoric during his U.S. presidential run.
"Donald Trump is ... one of two candidates who will become the next president of the United States. And he has repeatedly made bigoted and hateful comments about Mexicans, Muslims and others," Matlow, who represents a downtown Toronto ward, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I would urge both the film industry, along with everyone else, to turn their backs on anything that would support Donald Trump's political and financial interests, and that includes putting money into events at Trump Tower," he added. The America restaurant on the 31st floor of the Trump-branded hotel last year hosted TIFF events like the The Final Girls afterparty, attended by Nina Dobrev and Malin Akerman, and a L'Oreal festival kickoff party hosted by Karlie Kloss.
2014 was an even busier year at Trump International in Toronto, with Fox Searchlight and Focus Features holding events, as did Creative Coalition, which staged its annual Spotlight Initiative Awards dinner at the hotel, with Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Izzard, Tim Daly and Kevin McHale in attendance.
Donald Trump's name is on Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto via a licensing deal, but he doesn't own any part of the 65-story hotel and condo development. Even so, Matlow urged Hollywood to boycott Trump's hotel as his controversial U.S. presidential campaign begins to cost him north of the border.
"There's a negative symbol of people partying and celebrating at the Trump Tower, and there's a strong message if the film industry says we're not going to hold celebrations at buildings that hold the Trump name," he said. Talon International, the property developer behind Trump International in Toronto, is currently attempting to sell the building to a new owner.
That new owner is expected to remove Trump's name from the city's skyline. Talon International’s lawyer Symon Zucker, of legal firm Danson & Zucker, offered no comment when asked about plans to sell the landmark building and change its branded name.
The Trump complex's America restaurant is run by the Oliver & Bonacini chain, which also operates the O&B Canteen and Luma restaurants inside Bell Lightbox on King Street. Oliver & Bonacini wasn't available for comment on whether bookings for America were down for the 2016 edition of the Toronto Film Festival.