In a fiery op-ed, Hollywood icon George Clooney called for a boycott of properties owned by the Brunei Investment Agency which is controlled by the Sultan of Brunei. The star says the decision was inspired by the ruler’s recent announcement that those found guilty of the crime of being homosexual will now face the horrifying prospect being stoned and whipped to death.
George Clooney is no stranger to social activism, but the international celebrity admits to staying overnight in luxury hotels owned by the controversial Sultan of Brunei. Clooney says the bookings were “because I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know who owned them.”
Now, the movie star is calling for a full boycott of all properties owned by the Brunei Investment Agency which is controlled by the Sultan of Brunei. In a March 28 Deadline Hollywood op-ed, Clooney said the move became necessary after the ruler announced that citizens found guilty of homosexuality will face the sentence of death by torture.
“They’re nice hotels,” Clooney wrote in his guest column. “The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties. But let’s be clear, every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery. Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly, any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”
The Beverly Hills Hotel has faced a loosely organized, but longstanding boycott by Hollywood luminaries and businesses, but news that the government behind these hotels stands ready to torture and execute its own citizens based on nothing more than bigotry, has put a spotlight on the other properties owned by the ruling family. According to Clooney, those well-known luxury hotels include, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London as well as the Coworth Park Hotel, the Hotel Bel-Air, the Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, along with the Hotel Eden in Rome and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.
“I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them, but you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way,” Clooney wrote in closing. “It’s up to each of us what we want to do.”
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