Kim Kardashian took to her blog today to share her thoughts about the boycott of the Sultan of Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel (over Brunei’s Draconian new anti-LGBT laws) and, damnit, she made a decent case for continuing to patronize the LA institution. Number one: Staying away isn’t going to hurt the Sultan. He’s worth 20 billion dollars AT LEAST, and this loss of business is a drop in the bucket to him. Number two: It’s the hotel staff that suffers. They’re the ones who are going to be hurt by the loss of business. They’re they ones who are going to lose their jobs. Read her thoughts on the controversy below or head over to kimkardashian.celebuzz:
My best friend Allison and I wanted to take our babies out to lunch a few days ago after our baby class but there were so many paparazzi swarming us, it would have really scared them. Instead we had to feed them at her place and put them down for a nap. We were planning on taking them to the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is where we always go because they respect not having any paparazzi drive onto their property, but I reminded Allison that my bridal shower was moved from that hotel due to the actions of the Sultan of Brunei. Allison shared with me her view on the situation and we 100% agree that the actions and law enforcements of the Sultan are completely against everything we believe in.
However, I started to realize that maybe boycotting the hotel isn’t the best solution either. For a sultan that has 20 billion dollars, this loss of business doesn’t even make a dent in his fortunes. But the hotel staff are being negatively affected every day with the boycott that has gone on for weeks now… We shouldn’t punish the amazing hard-working people who have been so good to us for years! When I was a little girl, I would ride my bike to the Beverly Hills Hotel on the weekends to eat downstairs in the coffee shop with my dad, and some of the same people still work there! It’s sad to see them suffering from this protest.
There must be other ways to express our views without punishing the workers, some who I know personally have families at home and depend on the city’s business and tips to survive. When I was pregnant, the hotel was my safe haven. There’s one waitress that works downstairs who was also pregnant at the same time as me and due just a few weeks apart. We would always share our pregnancy stories with each other. I know for a fact she has a new baby at home that she has to feed, so this boycott is affecting her tremendously. The hotel is a piece of LA’s history as well as many of our own personal memories.
I support Rose McGowan and Russell Crowe’s takes on this matter. The unjust treatment and violation of rights of the LGBT community around the world is never justified and I will continue to proudly support the LGBT community in every way imaginable. I do believe though that instead of this boycott, there has to be another solution. I’m glad to hear that industry executives like Jeffrey Katzenberg and Casey Wasserman are reaching out to leaders of the hotel chain to discuss a way to potentially end the protest. I hope we can come together and stand up for our beliefs while still making sure good people aren’t wrongfully hurt in the process. Boycotting the hotel won’t affect the sultan, just our dear friends who work there. For every warm smile when they greet us and for all the dedication they put in to make our experiences more enjoyable, I hope we can return the same love and compassion to make sure they’re not forgotten during this protest. Xo
With love, Kim
She makes a thought-provoking case. And. I’m mad at myself for liking her more and more lately. But that’s a different post for another day. Anyway.
How will the boycott end? Nine weeks in, and there still doesn’t seem to be an endgame in sight. The Hollywood Reporter offers three possible solutions:
1. Industry leaders could urge the Obama administration to withdraw visas for the sultan, his family and staff, just as it has done with Russian president Vladimir Putin (to little effect).
2. Boycotters should divert their energies to other anti-Sultan actions — for instance, pushing the Obama administration to not fast-track Brunei toward full membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (More than 100 members of Congress have signed a letter asking Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. trade rep to insist that the Southeast Asian country repeal the anti-gay laws or face expulsion from trade talks.)
3. Boycotters could switch to a “revolving” boycott that targets different hotels at different times, including the less-affected Bel-Air Hotel, also part of the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection.
So far, there’s no sign any of the above will happen. And there’s always the possibility the sultan is too rich to care. “Our campaign is to make these hotels nuclear-radioactive and they will quickly become shadows of their former selves,” says Fred Saintz, a rep for Human Rights Campaign, the most prominent player in the boycott. “Sooner or later, the Brunei investment agency will look at their balance sheet and make the determination, this is not a going concern.”
What do you think? Boycott the hotel or find some other way to stick it to the Sultan? Tweet me @JSJdarling.
(Photo of Kim: Pacific Coast News)