Property Firms Pull Business From Dorchester Hotel After Clooney-Led Protest Against Owner's Anti-Gay Law
A real estate events company has pulled its business from the Dorchester in London, as part of a growing protest over new laws allowing gay people to be stoned to death that were passed by the royal family that owns the hotel.
Movers & Shakers said in an open letter that it had decided to move an event that was due to be hosted at the five-star hotel on 26 April to an alternative location in Central London, and was suspending hosting any future events at the hotel, a venue it has used for several years.
The hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection of nine hotels around the world that are owned by the Brunei Investment Authority, which is controlled by the Sultan of Brunei and his family.
This week Brunei introduced new Sharia laws which include death, potentially by stoning, for those found engaging in same-sex intercourse.
New laws being implemented in Brunei go against our own cultural & moral values and so we have taken the decision to suspend the hosting of our events at The Dorchester in London. Read our open letter for further information pic.twitter.com/lPql88ItsC— Movers & Shakers (@MoversShakersUK) April 3, 2019
Actor George Clooney wrote an article for website Deadline highlighting the new laws and calling for a boycott of Dorchester Collection hotels, which also include 45 Park Lane in London and the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Other celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John and Richard Branson have publicly said they will boycott the properties.
A boycott by businesses as well as individuals could have a real impact on the chain: Conferences are a major source of revenue for high-end hotels.
Outside of real estate, the British Fellowship of Hairdressers said it was pulling its annual awards from the Dorchester.
In the firm’s open letter, Movers & Shakers Managing Director Leigh Salter wrote: “We consider these new laws unacceptable by any measure and they are diametrically opposed to our own position as an organisation and membership group that puts diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything we do.”