Ellen’s desperate plea for hotel boycott
ELLEN DeGeneres has joined Elton John and George Clooney in calling for a boycott of swanky hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei in response to that country's anti-gay policies under Sharia Law.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, DeGeneres posted an image of the list of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei and pleaded with social media users not to stay at the locations.
"Tomorrow, the country of Brunei will start stoning gay people to death," the caption alongside the image read.
"We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up."
The hotels listed include: Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Beverley Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Ascot, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.
DeGeneres' post has since received more than 54k likes and 5k comments.
"Ellen just put them out of business!" one person wrote.
"This is a crying shame," another added. Just allow people to be who they are, it doesn't bother you in any way. It wont be hard to boycott these, but when I get my dream vacay to Paris I'll remember (these hotels).
On Saturday in a series of tweets, Elton John took a stand alongside George Clooney calling for a global boycott of said hotels.
"I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalised, or worse - by boycotting the sultan's hotels," he wrote.
"Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei, many of whom we know to be gay.
"We must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable. That's why David (Furnish, Elton John's husband) and I have long refused to stay at these hotels and will continue to do so."
Last month, Clooney criticised Brunei's announcement the country will implement Islamic criminal laws to punish gay sex by stoning offenders to death. The Oscar-winning star also called for the boycott of nine hotels in the US and Europe with ties to the Southeast Asian leader.
"Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?" wrote Clooney in Deadline.
He argued Hollywood was capable of applying pressure to address human rights violations.
"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," he wrote.
Clooney wrote you couldn't shame "murderous regimes," but you could shame "the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them".
Following Clooney's piece in Deadline, Real Time host Bill Maher and a guest went after Clooney over the actor's call for a boycott.
During the panel discussion, Maher said it "really bothered" him.
"It's chickens - tokenism," Maher said. "What about Saudi Arabia? If you really want to get back to them, stop driving, don't use oil."
Panellist S.E. Cupp, a CNN host, called Clooney "hypocritical," pointing out Hollywood does "a ton of business" with the United Arab Emirates, another nation whose laws have been criticised.
"It's Sharia Law, which is some version of the law in most Muslim-majority countries," Maher continued. "And if you want to be against that, you know, speak openly and honestly about standing up for liberal principles."
The HBO star added that liberal activist Clooney was a "really smart guy" who knew about problems in the Middle East, but concluded the actor's "virtue signalling" ultimately wouldn't make an impact.
"This idea that the Sultan of Brunei is going over the receipts from the Polo Lounge ... 'Oh no, we only sold two soups today'," Maher joked.
It has been nearly five years since the infamous celebrity boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel came and went after it was revealed its owner - the Sultan of Brunei - decided to implement a harsh interpretation of Sharia Law. At the time, Elton John and a number of other prominent Hollywood figures, including DeGeneres and Richard Branson, took to Twitter to denounce the hotel.
The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air are part of the Dorchester Collection, owned by a wing of the Brunei government referred to as the Brunei Investment Agency.
"Dorchester Collection's code emphasises equality, respect, and integrity in all areas of our operation and strongly values people and cultural diversity among our guests and employees," a representative for the hotel told Fox News on Friday. "Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination."
- with Fox News