Nine luxury hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei have closed or hidden their social media pages after facing a wave of online criticism over anti-LGBT laws.
The country of Brunei, which is an Islamic monarchy in Southeast Asia, recently introduced strict Islamic Sharia laws which make homosexuality illegal and punishable by stoning to death.
A number of celebrities, including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, actor George Clooney, and singer Elton John responded to the passing of these laws by naming the nine Brunei-owned hotels on social media and asking the public to boycott them to protest the country’s homophobic laws.
Here are the nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei:
- Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles, USA)
- The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills, USA)
- The Dorchester (London, UK)
- 45 Park Lane (London, UK)
- Coworth Park (Ascot, UK)
- Le Meurice (Paris, France)
- Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)
- Hotel Eden (Rome, Italy)
- Hotel Principe di Savoia (Milan, Italy)
Since the celebrities called for the boycott, the social media pages for these nine Brunei-owned hotels have been deleted, deactivated, or placed in a restricted state. In total:
- All nine of the hotels’ Facebook accounts have been deleted or deactivated
- Eight of the hotels’ Twitter accounts have been deleted or deactivated
- One of the hotels’ Twitter accounts (Hotel Principe di Savoia) is in a “protected” state which means the tweets are hidden from everyone except those following the account
- Six of the hotels’ Instagram accounts have been deleted or deactivated
- Three of the hotels’ Instagram accounts (Le Meurice, Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and Hotel Eden) have been made “private” which means the posts are hidden from everyone except those following the accounts
After the social media pages for these nine hotels were locked down, Dorchester Collection, the company that manages these hotels, posted an update to its Twitter account indicating that the social pages had been placed into a restrictive state because employees were receiving personal abuse.
The full statement reads:
Dorchester Collection is an inclusive and diverse company and does not tolerate any form of discrimination. Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care. Our corporate social media pages remain in place. Dorchester Collection’s Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.
The personal abuse directed towards employees is presumably related to the anti-LGBT laws that were introduced in Brunei.
This statement from Dorchester Collection drew further criticism of Brunei’s new homophobic laws with Twitter users calling out the hypocrisy of the message.