Holding signs reading “This Hotel is Owned by Homophobes” and “Protect Women,” members of the labor union Unite Here were on the scene to protest a Polo Lounge event for Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky. But the protesting is dying down at this point. There were hundreds outside per day for weeks, now only a dozen perday come out.
Unite Here rep Leigh Shelton said Hollywood was supportive of an ongoing boycott of the hotel’s ownership by the Sultan of Brunei, but that more needed to be done to make out of state visitors such as Rep. Whitfield aware, noting one of the cars pulling into the hotel had a Wyoming license plate.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has faced protests and canceled events by members of the Hollywood community beginning in mid-April, when the activist organization The Gill Fund moved a planned event due to the Sultan of Brunei’s penal code.
Under Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah‘s leadership, the Southeast Asian nation enacted a Sharia law penal code that includes harsh penalties for gays and adulterers.
Bolkiah controls the Dorchester Collection of hotels via his Brunei Investment Agency.
Even Jay Leno and his wife Mavis, who is a renowned human rights advocate have protested with employees and concerned citizens from Beverly Hills and bordering West Hollywood.
A Beverly Hills Hotel public relations rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the protest. A Dorchester rep also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.