Actor Russell Crowe is one of many high-profile celebrities opposed to a new anti-gay legislation introduced by the Sultan of Brunei. The law would exert harsh punishment on gay people by means of punishment. As other stars have boycotted the Dorchester Collection hotel group owned by the Sultan, Crowe is opposed to the protest. In a tweet on Monday, the “Gladiator” actor said he felt a boycott was a bad idea.
One of the hotels that have been a focus of the boycott is the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Crowe is not supporting the anti-gay legislation, but is mainly coming to the defense of the employees of the collection of hotels. In his tweet, he says, “I don’t agree with the boycotting of Dorchester Collection hotels. It only hurts the hard working staff who I consider friends.”
Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, Sharon Osbourne, Kim Kardashian and Richard Branson have all joined in on the boycott sending a message that they do not condone the new Brunei law, but Crowe’s argument is that the only people who are being hurt by the protest are those working to make an honest living.
Russell Crowe was of course criticized for his opposition of the boycott, but explained view saying, “the laws that Brunei are adopting are hideous, but throwing the staff of Dorchester Collection Hotels under the bus to make a political point is not acceptable to me.” Crowe suggested other means of protest to make a statement like ceasing trade contact and refusing to use Brunei oil.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah made headlines when he proposed the new Sharia law in Brunei calling for Muslims caught performing homosexual acts to be stoned to death. The law would put sex between two gay people on the same level as adultery, rape and declaring oneself to be non-Muslim. Originally gay sex was punishable by up to 10 years in prison.