LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine upscale hotels – including two in Los Angeles — owned by the Sultan of Brunei over news that his small nation will next week begin implementing laws punishing gay people and those accused of adultery by stoning or whipping them to death.
Beginning April 3, the oil-rich nation of Brunei will begin applying an Islamic penal code which allows for homosexual acts and adultery to be punished by stoning or whipping the guilty person to death, according to Amnesty International. Robbery in Brunei can be punished by amputation, Amnesty International said.
In an op-ed in Deadline Thursday, Clooney demanded a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which is a corporation owned by Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
“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,” Clooney wrote.
The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air are among the nine owned by BIA. Clooney admits that he stayed at several of these hotels in the past.
“I’ve stayed at many of them, a couple of them recently, because I hadn’t done my homework and didn’t know who owned them,” Clooney wrote.
Brunei first received criticism when it implemented the first phase of this new penal code back in 2014. Under that penal code, offenses such as theft or drinking alcohol could be punished by whipping or amputation, according to Amnesty International. The punishments even apply to children.
Brunei, with a population of just around 500,000, is located on the island of Borneo, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia. Due to its vast oil reserves, it is one of the richest nations in the world in terms of per capita income.