US TV host Jay Leno joins celebrities boycotting Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel
US TV host Jay Leno has joined other celebrity entertainers in a boycott of Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel over country’s “stone the gays” law.
The law, which began to be phased in last week, replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning in the Islamic state.
This led to boycotts of luxury hotel chain the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
The Beverly Hotel was on Monday due to host the Global Women’s Rights Awards Gala, which would have been chaired by Jay Leno and his wife Mavis.
The pair instead attended a protest against the new laws in Brunei, and the event was held elsewhere.
The president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which organises the gala, Eleanor Smeal, said in a statement: “We cannot hold a human rights and women’s rights event at a hotel whose owner would institute a penal code that fundamentally violates women’s rights and human rights.”
On Saturday, Virgin boss Richard Branson announced a company-wide boycott of the hotel chain, while celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne have all urged for businesses to distance themselves from the chain.