Following a large-scale boycott of Dorchester Collection hotels over the passage of Shari'a law in Brunei (whose Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah owns the Collection), the city of Beverly Hills is looking to convince the Southeast Asian country to sell its California properties, including the Beverly Hills Hotel.
According to Fox News, the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously 5-0 earlier this week on a resolution to put pressure on the government of oil-rich Brunei to sever its financial ties. The council reportedly stopped just short of imposing a city-sanctioned boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel Air, however, since Brunei's laws do not interfere with the Sultan's rights to operate a business in the United States.
Since the passage of the laws, organizations have canceled several events at the Beverly Hills Hotel, including the Motion Picture & Television Fund's annual "Night Before the Oscars" charity event and the Feminist Majority Foundation's annual Global Women's Rights Awards.
But some businesses are trying to find other ways of cutting the hotels' ties to Brunei: Andalusian Resorts and Spas, for example, has publicly endorsed the Beverly Hills and has offered to begin negotiations to acquire any Hotel property that is prepared to divest ownership and has also offered to "take care of the properties’ families" as well.
Bernard Fried, president of Andalusian Resorts and Spas, said in a statement that his company “supports the Gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, which called on the Beverly Hills Hotel's owner to stop promoting special services at the hotel for same-sex weddings which are now legal in California since profits from LGBT weddings shouldn’t be going to Hotel owners that may start executing its LGBT patrons."
However, Fox is reporting that the Sultan, who has an estimated net worth of $20 billion, has no plans to sell, in spite of the pressure from celebrities and canceled events.