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Sultan of Brunei faces Hollywood backlash on his hotels after new implementation of Sharia law

The Sultan of Brunei is facing a backlash from a list of Hollywood stars after his country’s planned embrace of extreme Islamic law.

A-list celebrities like George Clooney and Elton John are vowing to boycott all nine hotels, including the famed Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s Dorchester Collection.

Clooney is leading the charge and wrote in Deadline, “Brunei will begin stoning and whipping to death any of its citizens that are proved to be gay. Let that sink in.

“In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone.”

Clooney added, “Every single time we stay 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.”

On Saturday, Elton John added his support to the boycott stating, “I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect – as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

“Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society. That’s why I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand and calling out the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry now being enshrined in law in the nation of Brunei, a place where gay people are brutalised or worse.”

Brunei has defended its planned implementation of Sharia law which will see homosexuality and adultery punished by death. Theft will be punishable by amputation and adultery, rape, and sodomy will also be punishable by death. The country has defended the laws saying they are to protect Islam and “educate.”

Sharia law will go into effect on 3 April in the Southeast Asian country. Brunei is a unitary Islamic absolute monarchy. The 72-year-old Sultan has been in power since 1967.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.