PHOTOS: Stars Join Lisa Vanderpump in Boycott of Beverly Hills Hotel
BY Daniel Reynolds
May 16 2014 5:00 AM ET
Lance Bass, Jai Rodriguez, Carlton Gebbia, Ross Mathews, Joanna Krupa, and the band GRL have joined the boycott against the Beverly Hills Hotel, whose owner, the sultan of Brunei, has implemented draconian policies in his country that would punish homosexuality with stoning.
The Advocate asked the stars if they would boycott the hotel at the Tuesday opening of Pump Lounge in West Hollywood. Many celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, and Pump Lounge's owner, Lisa Vanderpump, have publicly declared they they will not attend events or stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel in order to put pressure on the sultan, who recently instituted Sharia law in his Asian nation, allowing for the stoning of those who engage in gay sex and women who commit adultery. Also, people could have their limbs severed if they're convicted of property crimes and jailed for missing religious services.
“As a huge spokesperson and advocate for the LGBT community and supporter of equal rights, I find it devastating,” Vanderpump had told Los Angeles's KNBC. “It’s like a home from home, but unfortunately I just don’t feel I can support any of this man’s business ventures with what’s come out.”
One of the red carpet exceptions to the boycott supporters was Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles's Josh Flagg, who said he would continue to support the establishment due to his concern for the welfare of its staff.
"If the sultan of Brunei was to build a hotel here today and he wanted my business, would I give it to him? Absolutely not," the Bravo reality star said. "[But] the Beverly Hills Hotel is a 100-year-old institution, which I have been supporting since I was a child, and I’m not going to turn my back on it just because the owner is a nutjob. The owner is crazy and barbaric, but that doesn’t mean the staff or the people that work there, who are lovely, wonderful people, who rely on my tips and other people’s tips, our business — why should they suffer?"
Lance Bass, on the other hand, suggested that employees quit as a form of protest.
"Find another job, people," Bass said. "It’s OK. There’s plenty of places to use your expertise, and it doesn’t have to be that hotel."
Read the full responses of the stars below.
Lance Bass ('N Sync, Not Looking)
"You’d better believe it," Bass said, when asked if he was part of the boycott. "I used to go there all the time to have lots of meetings, but I will never set foot in that place as long as that awful man is owning that place."
"I love the Beverly Hills Hotel. But that’s something you have to stand against, because it’s just not right," said a member of the band GRL, and the band unanimously agreed they were "Team Boycott." "There’s nothing right about it. There’s nothing good about it. So I am completely down to boycott something like that."