TV Choice Awards boycott Dorchester Hotel over Brunei’s anti-gay laws
This year’s TV Choice Awards will not be held in the Brunei owned Dorchester Hotel in London for the first time after the country introduced death by stoning for gay people this week.
The awards—which have taken place annually for the last decade—will be held this year in a new, yet to be announced location.
Organisers decided to boycott the hotel this year after an international campaign to avoid hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei kicked off last week.
Posting on Twitter today (5 April), TV Choice magazine—which runs the awards—said: “The 2019 TV Choice Awards will not be held at The Dorchester Hotel. This year’s venue will be announced in due course.”
The Sultan of Brunei owns hotels across the world
The Dorchester Hotel in London is just one of many hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who this week oversaw the introduction of new elements of Islamic criminal law. The new laws will target gay people, adulterers and those found guilty of robbery.
Last week, when news of Brunei’s new laws broke, George Clooney led calls for a boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei in an op-ed for Deadline.
He wrote: “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.”
“The 2019 TV Choice Awards will not be held at The Dorchester Hotel. This year’s venue will be announced in due course.”
– TV Choice Awards
The Dorchester Collection responded to the backlash against their hotel this week in a statement released online in which they said they are an “inclusive and diverse” company.
“Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care.
“Our corporate social media pages remain in place.
“Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.”
Human Rights Campaign branded Brunei’s new laws as ‘barbaric to the core’
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Last weekend, just days before the laws came into force, the prime minster’s office in Brunei defended the new laws, saying they would help to “deter” acts that are against the teachings of Islam.
Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said: “Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes.
“Sultan Hassanal should immediately suspend amputations, stoning, and all other rights-abusing provisions and punishments.”
He added: “Every day that Brunei’s penal code is in force is a multifaceted assault on human dignity.
“Governments around the world should make clear to Brunei’s sultan that there can be no business as usual so long as the threat of whipping, stoning or amputation remains on the books.”