Brunei is a tiny country in south-east Asia, owned and governed as a dictatorship by the Sultan, one of the world’s richest men. Starting next Wednesday, gay people and adulterers in that country will be stoned or whipped to death.
The Sultan owns nine of the world’s finest hotels and George Clooney is using his celebrity to call for a boycott of those spaces.
“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 … Are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?
“I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.”
The hotels involved include the Beverley Hills Hotel, the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Cosworth Park in the UK, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, the Hotel Eden in Rome, and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.
Staying in any of those hotels is way beyond my reach but I am glad to help support this initiative, and to hope that any tourists planning on visiting Brunei choose a different destination.