In a land where glitz and glamor and the almighty buck hold sway, gutless Hollywood finally showed some backbone and pulled its gala Night Before Oscar Party from the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by the Sultan of Brunei, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Last week, the sultanate ruler announced that Sharia Law would be instituted in his country, which sits on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo, facing the South China Sea. His decree mandates “violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery.”
Hollywood moguls were not about to let human rights abuses such as these pass unnoticed, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund declared a boycott of all Dorchester Collection Hotels, until the laws were rescinded.
The five-star pre-Oscars party is the kingpin of charity balls in Tinseltown, having raised more than $60 million in the last twelve years. Founded by Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, it consistently attracts the statuette’s nominees and celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Warren Beatty and Jennifer Garner.
Both MPTF top executives and Beverly Hills Hotel spokespersons diplomatically expressed regrets at the parting of the ways, after a long and fruitful relationship.
On Sunday, Virgin Airlines owner Richard Branson declared that neither he, his family, nor the company’s employees would patronize any Dorchester Collection-owned hotels until Sultan Hassanai Bolkiah “abides by basic human rights.”
The Hollywood Reporter took the opportunity to encourage motion picture bigwigs to continue to display moxie, and use their enormous global influence to draw attention to discriminatory anti-gay laws elsewhere, to the increasing persecution of Christians overseas, to the façade of Hamas-front group CAIR not financing terrorists, and the horrors of homosexual persecution in other Islamic countries.
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