AirTalk for May 6, 2014

Beverly Hills Hotel boycott fires up over Brunei laws, ownership

Women's Rights, LGBT, and Human Rights Groups Protest Sultan of Brunei's Human Rights Policies

David McNew/Getty Images

A security guard confronts demonstrators protesting draconian punishment of women and gay people announced by the Sultan of Brunei on a sideway near the entrance to the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan, on May 5, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

Boycotts and protests of L.A. institution the Beverly Hills Hotel are growing after its owner, the Sultan of Brunei, planned to implement laws calling for extreme penalties for gay sex and adultery.

The sultan’s Brunei Investment Group owns the Dorchester Collection, a group of hotels that includes both the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air. Since Brunei announced the imposition of Islamic laws that allow gays and adulterers to be stoned or dismembered, among other punishments, local backlash has grown.

LGBT advocates began a boycott, joined by other celebrities. The Motion Picture and Television Fund has pulled their glitzy “Night Before” Oscars part from the hotel, and The Hollywood Reporter and other groups followed suit, finding other venues for major events and calling for a broader boycott of the hotel.

The Dorchester Collection’s CEO, Christopher Cowdray, says the boycott is unfairly directed at the hotels and their employees, and argues that local communities will suffer.

How should the Dorchester Collection handle the boycott? Should local groups discontinue support and use of the Beverly Hills Hotel until the issues in Brunei are resolved?

Guest:

Katherine Spillar, Executive Vice President, Feminist Majority Foundation

Steve Rapier, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Pepperdine University

 


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