John Legend has backed out of attending an LA Confidential magazine party hosted at Beverly Hills Hotel, due to the hotel’s ties with homophobic Sultan of Brunei.
L.A. Confidential announced last month that it would be hosting an industry party to celebrate and honour December/January cover star John Legend. However the Grammy winner has refused the invitation due to the hotel’s ties with the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who owns Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air. Since early last year, both hotels have faced widespread boycott due to the Sultan passing a barbaric law calling for the stoning of gays and adulterers.
Legend’s rep Amanda Silverman told The Hollywood Reporter that the All of Me singer will no longer attend the event. “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,” she said.
“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.”
In a statement, CEO of L.A. Confidential’s parent company Niche Media Holdings, Katherine Nicholls confirmed that the event will be going ahead as planned. “Los Angeles Confidential will move forward with our annual Awards’ Issue celebration at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” she said. “We respect Mr. Legend’s decision not to attend the event, and believe that each individual, company and organization must make their own decision as to how they communicate their positions on political views, social and civil rights.”
Legend is not the first to boycott the hotel. Last year, high-profile celebrities like Jay Leno, Richard Branson, Elton John and Ellen Degeneres publicly stated that they would not attend any event at the hotel.
Degeneres tweeted last April, “I won’t be visiting the Hotel Bel-Air or the Beverly Hills Hotel until this is resolved.”
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