Organisers of the annual Night Before the Oscars party have ended their relationship with Beverly Hills Hotel bosses over their links to the Sultan of Brunei.
Motion Picture & Television Fund officials, who host the event, have decided to move on because they cannot condone the "harsh and repressive" anti-gay laws that the Middle Eastern leader has instituted in his homeland.
Ellen DeGeneres and Brits Sharon Osbourne and Richard Branson have already joined a widespread boycott of the hotels Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah owns, after learning of a severe new anti-gay penal code introduced in Brunei last week (ends02May14). Branson declared on Sunday (04May14) that neither his family nor Virgin employees would stay at Dorchester Collection hotels until the Sultan "abides by basic human rights".
The royal's new legislation calls for Muslims caught performing homosexual acts to be stoned to death.
The star-studded Night Before party has been held at the Beverly Hills Hotel since its inauguration in 2003.
A statement from Mptf's top executives, issued to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday (05May14), notes their "deep concern about the recent enactment of laws in Brunei that call for violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery.
"We expressed very clearly that we cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws, and, as a result, support a business owned by the Sultan of Brunei or a Brunei sovereign fund associated with the government of Brunei."
Meanwhile, officials at The Human Rights Campaign Fund have urged organisations associated with the Beverly Hills Hotel and others linked to the Dorchester Collection to move their events to venues that "aren't owned by foreign governments and leaders that allow for the execution of its Lgbt (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) citizens."
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