Hollywood power players like Ryan Seacrest, Sherry Lansing and Mark Wahlberg aren’t hitting the Holiday Inn following the boycott against LA hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.
Turns out The Beverly Hills Hotel isn’t the only posh place where celebrities, agents and producers can stay while in the greater LA area. In fact, in wake of protests against the Sultan’s embrace of Sharia law, local hotels are suddenly booming.
Since word spread of the May 1 implementation of Sharia law by Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah — owner of the hotel through his Dorchester Collection of properties that also includes Hotel Bel-Air — power players have responded by using their pocketbooks to condemn the criminal code that could mean stoning deaths for gays and adulterers. “I’m no longer going [to the Polo Lounge], and I was there three times a week,” says WME partner Richard Weitz. Same for Trigger Street Productions’ Dana Brunetti: “I will not return there while the sultan owns it.”
Actor Russell Crowe sounded a sorrowful note this week when he said the boycott would have the unintended consequence of hurting workers at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
Another complicating factor is the partial ownership of other hotels.
For producer David Permut, choosing his new spot — Culina at the Four Seasons — wasn’t without consideration. He notes that the Four Seasons is partly owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, which also employs Sharia law and has imprisoned gay men. A hotel rep stresses that the prince is a co-owner of management company Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and that the Four Seasons on Doheny is locally owned.