Singer John Legend has backed out of a star-studded gala for the magazine L.A. Confidential over the publication’s choice of venue.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the party is to be held on Thursday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is partially owned by Sultan of Brunei. The hotel is being boycotted by many among Hollywood’s elite because of the Sultan’s declaration of Sharia law in Brunei, under which adulterers and LGBT people are sentenced to death by stoning.
The Reporter contacted L.A. Confidential‘s publisher Alison Miller, who said in a statement, “Los Angeles Confidential Magazine is an avid supporter of equal rights for all people. Our decision to hold our event at the hotel in no way suggests that we support any anti-human rights policies.”
Legend’s spokesperson Amanda Silverman told the Reporter, “John Legend will not be attending the L.A. Confidential party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, February 5th in light of the horrific anti-women and anti-LGBT policies approved by the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei. These policies, which among other things could permit women and LGBT Bruneians to be stoned to death, are heinous and certainly don’t represent John’s values or the spirit of the event. John does not, in any way, wish to further enrich the Sultan while he continues to enforce these brutal laws.”
LGBT blog Towleroad.com reported that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) sent a letter to L.A. Confidential urging them to find another venue for their event.
“We feel strongly that those who support the rights of women and the LGBT community should take their business elsewhere. I write to ask that you reconsider your decision to host an event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, or any hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei, and join other prominent organizations who have found alternative venues,” wrote HRC’s Ty Cobb.
Cobb continued, “LGBT citizens in many countries around the world remain persistent targets of harassment, arrest, and violence. Though it has long been the case that LGBT Bruneians and LGBT travelers to Brunei are considered criminals for simply being who they are, this decision means that Brunei will soon become the tenth nation that includes the death penalty as an option for ‘punishing’ LGBT people.”