Brunei hotels delete social media accounts amid LGBT+ boycott

Brunei hotels boycott: Five of the nine Dorchester Collection hotels owned by Brunei: (top L-R) Hotel Meurice in Paris, The Dorchester in London, The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, (bottom L-R) The Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris and The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

The luxury hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei have deleted their social media pages, as an LGBT+ boycott of the country’s investments grows.

Celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Dua Lipa and George Clooney have vowed to boycott the luxury Dorchester Collection hotels after the Southeast Asian country introduced the death penalty for homosexuality in a harsh new penal code.

The front entrance is seen at The Dorchester, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, on April 3, 2019 in London, England.

The front entrance is seen at The Dorchester, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, on April 3, 2019 in London, England. (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

Facing a wave of anger on social media, the hotel chain announced on Wednesday (April 3) that it would be deactivating its social media accounts.

The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and The Dorchester in London are among those impacted.

Brunei-owned hotels claim to be ‘committed to inclusion’

A statement from the Dorchester Collection says: “Dorchester Collection is an inclusive and diverse company and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.

“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.”

Hotels owned by Brunei:  

  1. The Dorchester, London, UK
  2. The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, USA
  3. Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
  4. Le Meurice, Paris, France
  5. Principe di Savoia, Milan, Italy
  6. Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles, USA
  7. Coworth Park, Ascot, UK
  8. 45 Park Lane, London, UK
  9. Hotel Eden, Rome, Italy

Writing for Deadline on March 28, Clooney explained: “They’re nice hotels. The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties.

“But let’s be clear, 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.

“Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”

Brunei penal code ‘barbaric to the core’

Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei, but was previously punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The new penal code came into effect on Wednesday (April 3).

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.”