Since the introduction of anti-gay laws in Brunei last week, which allowed stoning to death of homosexual individuals, hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei have had to deactivate or delete their social media accounts due to increasing backlash from the public. The list of hotels that no longer have a social presence include Hotel Bel-Air, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane, Cowoth Park, Le Meurice, Hotel Plaza Athenee and Hotel Principe di Savoia, based in the US, UK, France and Italy. The parent company of these hotels released a statement on its Twitter account addressing the issue at hand, which said that as an inclusive and diverse company, it does not tolerate any form of discrimination. "Although we believe in open and transparent communication, we have reluctantly deactivated our hotel social pages due to the personal abuse directed at our employees for whom we have a duty of care. Our corporate social media pages remain in place. Dorchester Collection's Code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees," the post by Dorchester Collection added.In light of recent events. pic.twitter.com/a8SoivIrX7 — DorchesterCollection (@DC_LuxuryHotels) April 3, 2019 However, Hotel Eden which is under the group (based in Rome) had privatised its Twitter account instead. The move comes following Sultan of Brunei's implementation of "stricter" Islamic laws and also sparked an uproar in social media, garnering the attention of international celebrities. Celebrities such as George Clooney, Ellen Degeneres, Elton John, Billie Jean King, Luke Evans and Dua Lipa called for others to boycott hotels that are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, with a hashtag #BoycottBrunei.Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up. pic.twitter.com/24KJsemPGH — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 2, 2019 Meanwhile, some brands have also jumped in on the #BoycottBrunei move. UK's travel agency, STA Travel said on Twitter, in protest at recent changes to the law in Brunei (also applicable on Brunei-registered aircraft and vessels), it has stopped selling tickets on Royal Brunei Airlines. UK magazine, TV Choice which is also the event organiser for TV Choice Awards, said in tweet that it will be finding a new venue for the event which was scheduled to be held at The Dorchester. Media reports also say that the state government of Queensland also "suspended" its negotiations with Royal Brunei airlines after the passing of its new anti-gay laws. While Virgin Australia "cancelled" a staff travel agreement with Royal Brunei airlines and offered discounted tickets on Brunei's national carrier.
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