Considering the fact that many countries now have investments all over the world, it is almost certain that those businesses will face a backlash if the countries in question end up sanctioning unpopular laws. At a time when most countries all over the world are legalising gay sex, the kingdom of Brunei in South Asia sanctioned Islamic laws that call for strict punishment for the act. According to Islamic laws, anyone found engaging in gay sex is sentenced to either flogging or death by stoning and those laws went into effect in Brunei on Thursday. Now, Brunei has plenty of business interests in other liberal democracies, and one of its biggest businesses comprise of luxury hotels in some of the world’s leading cities.
Following the passing of these laws, prominent celebrities have started a campaign that calls for a boycott of hotels owned by Brunei. The social media accounts of those hotels have been apparently deleted (or deactivate) as a global backlash started over the draconian laws. The backlash apparently started after American actress, television host and LGBT activist Ellen DeGeneres took to Twitter and listed out the names of the 9 hotels in a tweet. In her tweet, she stated, “Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up.” The hotels are some of the most famous in the world and include The Beverly Hills Hotel in the US and the Dorchester Hotel in the United Kingdom among others. Three hotels are located in the US, two in Italy, one in Paris and three others in the UK.
These hotels are managed by a company known as the Dorchester Collection, and the company was quick to update its website, in which it stated that they do not “tolerate any form of discrimination.” However, the backlash against Brunei’s latest laws against gay sex was not only limited to their hotels. Royal Brunei Airlines found itself at the wrong end of the backlash as Virgin Australia terminated a deal with the airline. However, as of now, the 9 hotels have borne the brunt of the outrage against this law. While their social media accounts stand deactivated or deleted, TripAdvisor decided to halt users from posting reviews of the hotels on their website. The website stated that the reviews were not firsthand experiences and hence goes against the site’s policies.