General News

Stars back hotel boycott

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Apr 28, 2014 | 8:14am EDT

Stars including Ellen Degeneres and Stephen Fry have backed a boycott of a hotel group owned by the Sultan of Brunei over a proposed new anti-gay law in the country. A number of fashion industry moguls, including shoe designer Brian Atwood, have urged both stars and members of the public to avoid staying in hotels which are part of the Dorchester group, which includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in California and the Dorchester in London. The campaign is to protest against plans for a new law stating that anyone caught committing a homosexual act in Brunei should be stoned to death. U.S. TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who is married to actress Portia de Rossi, has vowed to boycott both of the California hotels in future, writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "I won't be visiting the Hotel Bel-Air or the Beverly Hills Hotel until this is resolved." Openly gay British actor Stephen Fry has revealed he has cancelled an upcoming stay in one of the group's hotels, the Coworth Park Hotel in Berkshire, England, as part of the protest. In a series of messages on Twitter.com, he writes, "Not that you were necessarily going to stay there, but time to boycott the Dorchester Group... Send them a message... Cancelled in nick of time: discovered (Coworth Park Hotel) that I was booked into is part of the Dorchester Collection." A spokeswoman for the Dorchester Collection tells WWD.com, "We are sensitive to the fact that any such potential withdrawal of business directly impacts our employees, who represent the full diversity of society. We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind."

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