Legend withdrew from an event to be held Thursday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the sultan of Brunei, who imposed a Sharia code in 2014.
1. John Legend will not attend a Los Angeles Confidential party held in his honor at the Beverly Hills Hotel this week, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
2. The hotel is owned in part by the current sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who purchased the hotel in 1987 and transferred ownership to the Brunei Investment Agency four years later.
3. In 2014, the sultan imposed Sharia law that calls for, among other punishments, the stoning of LGBT individuals. Consensual anal intercourse between an unmarried heterosexual couple is also punishable by stoning.
4. Cross-dressing individuals face hefty fines, imprisonment, or both.
5. “John Legend will not be attending the L.A. Confidential party at the Beverly Hills Hotel … in light of the horrific anti-women and anti-LGBT policies approved by the hotel’s owner,” Legend’s representative said to The Hollywood Reporter.
The spokeswoman, Amanda Silverman, continued, “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.”
6. Following the adoption of Sharia law, a number of celebrities have boycotted the hotel, including Jay Leno, who attended a protest across the street from the hotel property.
7. On Feb. 3, the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT nonprofit organization, called for the L.A. Confidential to sever its ties with the hotel and relocate the event.
“We feel strongly that those who support the rights of women and the LGBT community should take their business elsewhere,” HRC Global Press Secretary Kerry Brodie wrote.
8. “[Los Angeles Confidential] is an avid supporter of equal rights for all people,” publisher Alison Miller said in a public statement. “Our decision to hold our event at the hotel in no way suggests that we support any anti-human rights policies.”
No word on whether the event will still occur as planned tomorrow evening.