Anna Wintour joins Dorchester hotel boycott

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour is the latest figure to boycott a hotel chained owned by the Government of Brunei due to the country’s anti-gay laws.

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, owns The Dorchester Collection. Last month he gave approval to Brunei’s new penal code, which urges death by stoning for same-sex sexual activity.

In a statement issued to the New York Times, Wintour said she and other Vogue editors will not be staying at Le Meurice hotel in Paris, France, which is part of the chain.

“While I am sensitive to the potential impact that this issue may have on the wonderful staff at Le Meurice, I cannot in all good conscience stay there, nor can Vogue’s editors,” she said.

A string of celebrities, including Ellen DegeneresStephen Fry, Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Sharon Osbourne, last month began a boycott campaign against The Dorchester Collection, famous for its Beverly Hills venue.

Beverly Hills council asked the Sultan to sell his Beverly Hills hotel because of his support for the draconian legislation.

In April, the British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) announced it will not stage its awards dinner at The Dorchester Hotel in London.

Gay rights charity Stonewall held its annual Equality Dinner at The Dorchester on Park Lane in April.

Earlier this month, the charity attracted criticism for criticising the nature of the boycott, whilst failing to say if it would hold future events at the hotel.

Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive Ruth Hunt confirmed three days later that it would no longer use The Dorchester Hotel for events.

Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Deben has called on all organisations to shun using the hotel.

Earlier this month, the Chief Executive of the Collection, Christopher Cowdray, stated his company’s commitment to equality and called on the boycott to end.