Kim Kardashian changes mind on ‘stone the gays’ hotel boycott

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Kim Kardashian has spoken against the continuing celebrity boycott of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, which was initiated after the introduction to Brunei of a law prescribing death-by-stoning as a punishment for same-sex activity.

Kardashian said she did not support the boycott because of the damage it would do to the staff who work there, despite that the Dorchester Collection has promised to guarantee the jobs, income, gratuities, and benefits of all of its employees following the international backlash against the Sultan’s horrific new laws.

In a post on her website, the reality TV star wrote: “For a sultan than has 20 billion dollars, this loss of business doesn’t even make a dent in his fortunes. But the hotel staff are being negatively affected every day with the boycott that has gone on for weeks now… We shouldn’t punish the amazing hard-working people who have been so good to us for years!”

She went on to add: “Boycotting the hotel won’t affect the sultan, just our dear friends who work there. For every warm smile when they greet us and for all the dedication they put in to make our experiences more enjoyable, I hope we can return the same love and compassion to make sure they’re not forgotten during this protest.”

Celebrities boycotting the Brunei-owned Dorchester chain include Stephen Fry, Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as organisations such as Virgin and Stonewall.

Kardashian joined the boycott in May, moving her baby shower away from the Beverly Hills Dorchester. In the same month, Beverly Hills city council urged the Sultan to sell the hotel, profits from which were said to be “reinvested in the community”.

Kardashian also wrote in the post that she supports “Rose McGowan and Russell Crowe’s takes on this matter.”

Crowe announced on Twitter in May, “I don’t agree with the boycotting of Dorchester Collection hotels. It only hurts the hard working staff who I consider friends”, while Rose McGowan threw a party earlier this month in support of the staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

All three reiterated their commitment to LGBT rights, with Kardashian writing: “The unjust treatment and violation of rights of the LGBT community around the world is never justified and I will continue to proudly support the LGBT community in every way imaginable.”

Despite calls for UK institutions to revoke honours given to the Sultan, several, including King’s College London, Oxford University and the Royal College of General Practitioners, have refused.