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Jay Leno Joins Protest Against Beverly Hills Hotel's Ties to Brunei's Sultan

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who owns the Dorchester Collection hotel chain that includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, announced last week that he would move ahead with implementing Shariah.

Jay Leno. Patch file photo.
Jay Leno. Patch file photo.

Jay Leno joined demonstrators today at the Beverly Hills Hotel to protest its ties to Brunei's sultan, who recently announced the implementation of conservative Islamic laws.

"What year is this?" Leno said during the protest outside the Beverly Hills Hotel. "What is this, 1814? Come on, people. It's 2014."

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who owns the Dorchester Collection hotel chain that includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, announced last week that he would move ahead with implementing Shariah, raising concerns Brunei authorities could order death by stoning for some behavior, including homosexuality and adultery.

Celebrities, including Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne, as well as human rights and LGBT groups have announced they are boycotting the chain, with some events already being moved.

Christopher Cowdray, CEO of the Dorchester Collection, said he respects the demonstrators right to protest, but that the chain is an autonomous company with a strict code of conduct that calls for equality and respect for everyone.

"Any actions that are taken today are actually religious actions, which we have absolutely no part to play with, but can have damaging effects to what happens in Beverly Hills," Cowdray said.

Cowdray said any economic impact from the boycott will hurt the employees, who rely on tips and service charges from guests.

"We invest very heavily into our hotels and have over the past few years invested in excess of $150 million into this economy," Cowdray said. "... We are a very, very big contributor to the local Beverly Hills economy."

Leno, who spoke for about two minutes during the rally, said he believes evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

"I'm guessing I will not be invited to see his car collection anytime soon, but I'd like to think that all people are basically good and when they realize this is going on, hopefully they will do something about it," Leno said.

The Feminist Majority Foundation's Global Women's Rights Awards, an event co-chaired by Leno and his wife, has been withdrawn from being held tonight at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to the foundation's executive director Kathy Spillar.

"This is an outrage," Spillar said of the laws introduced in Brunei. "These laws are like the Taliban's laws when they ruled Afghanistan and we must as a community of human rights supporters speak out."

Lorri Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, said no decent government or business should have any dealings with the sultan.

"His policies of murdering and torturing gay and lesbian people and women have no place in civilized society," Jean said.

The Beverly Hills City Council will consider a resolution Tuesday night that calls for condemnation of the government of Brunei's new laws.

--City News Service


Ike Jones May 06, 2014 at 11:16 PM
We associate with these killers who hate this country and especially women. I guess for some reason we don't get the message. Death by stoning the ultimate sacrifice for gays!! Rich Beverly Hills is being ruled by a Islamic Sultan who has established Sharia law for women.
Tek Kirby May 07, 2014 at 08:32 AM
Sultan can't established Sharia for women in USA. Though good ending to the story would be his Death by Stoning next time at of the his California hotels. If anything country had balls they will tell of Muslims in their country if you want Sharia Law go back to Middle East. Muslims Laws doesn't belong in Christian countries. Even in Muslims countries Muslims hate Muslims.
OD May 07, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Seriously, what are you talking about? Have you even read the story?
Burt May 07, 2014 at 10:47 AM
The US would sell its mother if the price was right. The white people are extreme left wing feminists, even Jay. As a group they want to impose their beliefs on eveyone else. The Sultan is merely following his beliefs. Maybe we should kill them all or confiscate their bank accounts. Remember we love their oil? And !! those motels employ thousands of illegals too! We would have to put them all on the dole if they didn't have jobs. Jay would have to hire them to wax his cars.
Pogmahon May 09, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Burt. Do you even know what you are talking about? I doubt it. Having read the Sharia law I know it was outdated 700 years ago...Or more. It is a scum law enforced by scum. Regarding the CEO's comments. Yeah, always answer legitimate social concerns with money.

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