June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Jay Leno Joins Anti-Brunei Demonstration at Beverly Hills Hotel

Beverly Hills Hotel
Jay Leno was part of a demonstration at the Beverly Hills Hotel on May 5 challenging a Brunei policy instilling harsh penalties against homosexuality and adultery. (Thinkstock)

Jay Leno joined demonstrators on May 5 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 would 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The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Global Women’s Rights Awards, an event co-chaired by Leno and his wife, has been withdrawn from being held the evening of May 5 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to the foundation’s executive director Kathy Spillar.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 on May 6 calling for condemnation of the government of Brunei’s new laws.

Related Posts

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Culver City PRCS Hosts Summer Splash Kick-Off Event

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Join PRCS for Fun-Filled Recreational Swim Activities The Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS) department of Culver City is gearing...

Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27 Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on...

Los Angeles City Council Postpones Vote on Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Decision on Historic Monument Status Rescheduled for June 26  After Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary decision on the motion...

AMC Theatres Unveils Eight Money-Saving Deals for Summer Movie Season

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Enjoy Discounted Tickets, Special Promotions, and Fan Favorites at AMC If you are a movie lover who has not been...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...