Jay Leno is among the stars slamming Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, for instituting violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, for gays and adulterers in his home country. The former host of the "Tonight Show" joins protesters gathering outside Beverly Hills Hotel owned by the Sultan.
"What is this, Berlin, 1933? This doesn't seem far off what happened in the Holocaust," Leno spoke at the rally. "Come on people, it's 2014. Evil flourishes when good people do nothing." He added, "This is not complicated. These are not crazy left-wing wacko people."
Other public figures joining the boycott include comedian Stephen Fry, TV personality Sharon Osbourne, and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres. Virgin group founder Richard Branson also condemns the anti-gay law, tweeting that none of his employees will stay at any hotels owned by Dorchester Collection, a company backed by the Sultan "until the Sultan abides by basic human rights."
Some of the Hollywood major events have been pulled from the hotel. Leno and his wife Mavis have moved their Global Women's Rights Awards from the venue. The Motion Picture & Television Fund follows suit, announcing they are no longer hosting "Night Before the Oscars" at the place.
A representative for MPTF says in a statement, "We expressed very clearly that we cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws and as a result support a business owned by the Sultan of Brunei or a Brunei sovereign fund associated with the government of Brunei."
According to Los Angeles Times, "the Beverly Hills City Council is expected to pass a resolution Tuesday condemning the start of the revised laws . . . and will call for the Brunei government to sell the hotel."
Last week when announcing the law, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said, "The decision to implement the (Shariah penal code) is not for fun but is to obey Allah's command as written in the Quran."