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Activists are staging a protest of the Beverly Hills Hotel over human rights issues

Brittany Martin

The Beverly Hills Hotel is embroiled in controversy. The landmark Los Angeles hotel is owned by a company ultimately held by the Sultan of Brunei, a country with a very rocky human rights record. A boycott of the hotel has been going on for two years and, on Saturday, a demonstration will take place across from the hotel’s property, organized by the West Hollywood Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board. 

In Brunei, a particular interpretation of Sharia law is in effect, allowing for murders of gay and lesbian people, beatings of women discovered to have had abortions and other human rights abuses. The Advisory Board feels that supporting any business that ultimately contributes financially to the government of Brunei is harmful and also want to use the protest against the hotel as a teachable moment to educate the public about Brunei, according to a WeHoville report. The protest takes place from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday in Will Rogers Park. 

Two years ago, a boycott of the hotel kicked off and picked up many notable celebrity participants along the way. Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Branson and John Legend have all publicly declined to attend events or patronize the Beverly Hills Hotel or any of the other properties owned by the Dorchester Collection.

For their part, representatives of the Dorchester Collection have stated that the relationship between Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and the day-to-day operations of the hotel are tenuous and any boycotts or protests are likely only to impact the hotel’s local employees, more than the bottom line of a kingdom sitting on vast oil wealth and other riches.   

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