Ellen DeGeneres backs boycott of Brunei-owned hotels over ‘stone the gays’ law

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

TV host Ellen DeGeneres has backed the boycott of a Brunei-owned hotel chain, after the country passed a ‘stone the gays’ law.

The Dorchester Collection, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, is facing boycotts after the Sultan passed a change to the penal code, calling for gays to be stoned to death.

Stephen Fry said on Saturday that he had cancelled his booking with the chain’s Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot, while the luxury Beverly Hills Hotel has faced pickets and a boycott from an LGBT philanthropist conference.

The chat show host last week added her voice to calls for the hotels to be boycotted, tweeting: “I won’t be visiting the Hotel Bel-Air or the Beverly Hills Hotel until this is resolved.”

A total of ten hotels are owned by the group: The Dorchester, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Plaza Athénée, Hotel Meurice, Principe di Savoia, Hotel Bel-Air, Coworth Park, 45 Park Lane, Le Richemond and Hotel Eden.

The luxury hotels are frequented by the entertainment and fashion industries, leading to calls for businesses to cut their ties with the chain.

In response to the boycott, the chain told WWD on Friday: “We are sensitive to the fact that any such potential withdrawal of business directly impacts our employees, who represent the full diversity of society.

“We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.

Before the passage of the new law, same-sex sexual activity was punishable in the Islamic state with up to 10 years’ imprisonment, but now can carry the death penalty.

The law was scheduled to come into force last Tuesday, but an official said that it would now be put in place “in the very near future”.