George Clooney Calls for a Boycott of Dorchester Collection Hotels Over Anti-Gay Laws

Mar 29, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In a guest column for Deadline, George Clooney has called for an immediate boycott of Dorchester Collection hotels over the Sultan of Brunei’s announcement that citizens convicted of having gay sex or committing adultery will be put to death by stoning or lashing. The luxury hotel brand, which runs nine hotels in Europe and the US, is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, which in turn is owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah — one of the richest people in the world.

“They’re nice hotels,” Clooney writes. “The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties. But 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.”

When asked for a statement on whether it condones the practice announced by the sultan, the hotel chain sent a vague email that did not address the issue. “Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees. Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination,” it said. 

This is not the first time the Dorchester Collection has been subject to boycotts because of the sultan’s harsh anti-gay stance. In 2014, there were boycotts of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in LA, the Dorchester in London, Le Meurice in Paris and the Principe di Savoia in Milan.

“While I am sensitive to the potential impact that this issue may have on the wonderful staff at Le Meurice, I cannot in all good conscience stay there, nor can Vogue’s editors,” Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor in Chief, told the New York Times at the time.

The Evening Standard reported that in the first month of the 2014 boycott, the Beverly Hills Hotel lost $2 million in cancelled reservations and meetings, but it’s hard to say what impact — if any — it had, considering that the sultan was believed to be worth $20 billion at the time.

As Clooney pointed out, Brunei is a small nation of less than 500,000 people, but it’s ranked as the fifth-richest in the world because of its oil reserves.

As of Friday morning, many others, including Ellen DeGeneres, Jamie Lee Curtis and British actor Steven Fry, are amplifying Clooney’s call for a boycott. A protest is being planned outside of the Beverly Hills Hotel on May 5.

Featured image of the Beverly Hills Hotel by Samantha Rosen/TPG

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.