Elton John backs George Clooney’s call for a ban on Sultan of Brunei's hotels

Elton John backs George Clooney’s call for a ban on Sultan of Brunei's hotels
Photo credit: Reuters

Elton John has backed George Clooney's call to boycott luxury hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei after the tiny oil-rich nation announced the introduction of anti-LGBT laws.

Brunei, a southeast Asian country with a population of about 430,00 people, could from Wednesday hand a death sentence to anyone found guilty of homosexual acts or adultery, with punishments including whipping and stoning.

The laws, as part of the country's interpretation of Sharia Law, also introduce amputation of the hands or feet as punishment for robbery, according to an announcement by the country's attorney general.

In response, Clooney demanded a boycott of exclusive hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei, three of which are in the UK including London's The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane.

Sir Elton, who married husband David Furnish in 2014, has now joined Clooney in calling for a boycott in a series of Tweets and said he has "long refused" to stay at the hotels.

"I commend my friend, #GeorgeClooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of #Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalised, or worse - by boycotting the Sultan's hotels.

"Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei, many of whom we know to be gay. 

"We must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable.

"That's why David and I have long refused to stay at these hotels and will continue to do so. We hope you will join us in solidarity."

However not everyone has backed Clooney, with HBO star Bill Maher calling the actor hypocritical. In a panel show Maher said Clooney’s comments really "bothered him."

It’s chickens**t tokenism,” Maher said. “What about Saudi Arabia? If you really want to get back to them, stop driving, don’t use oil.”

"It’s Sharia Law, which is some version of the law in most Muslim-majority countries.

"And if you want to be against that, you know, speak openly and honestly about standing up for liberal principles."

The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), through the Dorchester Collection, owns

London's The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire.

Also in its portfolio of hotels, among the world's most exclusive, are two of Hollywood's best-known establishments, The Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills.