May 24, 2020 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Singer Babyface Cancels Hotel Bel-Air Wedding to Protest Brunei Policy

Babyface
Singer Babyface is the latest celebrity to protest the ownership group of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air. The singer and his wife-to-be cancelled their wedding reservations at Hotel Bel-Air. (Thinkstock)

Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Babyface has reportedly cancelled a reservation he had to have his wedding at the Hotel Bel-Air in protest of Brunei’s policy calling for, among other things, the stoning to death of homosexuals.

Hotel Bel-Air is one of two Los Angeles area establishments belonging to an ownership group that includes the Sultan of Brunei.

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

The new law reportedly went into effect May 1.

Babyface, whose real name is Kenneth Edwards, was reportedly scheduled to get married this weekend at the Hotel Bel-Air. Several news reports indicated Babyface and his wife-to-be shifted their wedding to an undisclosed and private location. It was not made clear whether the wedding continued as planned this weekend or if the venue shift caused the couple to select a new date for their marriage.

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.

Former late night talk show host Jay Leno was also involved in a protest against the Beverly Hills Hotel.

On May 5, Leno told protesters the Brunei policy is reminiscent of laws that would be on the books in 1814, not 2014.

Babyface has won 10 Grammys in his musical career, including Album of the Year for his work as producer of The Bodyguard soundtrack and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the 1995 single “When Will I See You.”

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