On March 27, Brunei announced that the death penalty was to be the punishment for its people who were found to be a part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community. The nation’s call for the traditional Islamic approach was to be implemented on April 3.
Consequently, the announcement sparked global backlash with multinational companies and governments moving to cut ties and boycott the oil-rich nation.
In the top persons list of “Sultan Brunei”, international celebrities George Clooney and Elton John topped the list with 12 and 10 statements respectively.
On March 29, George Clooney, who is known for his role as Danny Ocean in the Ocean’s trilogy, called for a boycott against nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Some of the hotels on the list are Hotel Bel-Air in the United States, Hotel Eden in Italy and The Dorchester in the United Kingdom.
Celebrities like singer Elton John, Dua Lipa and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres voiced their supports for Clooney’s boycott.
Clooney and his wife, Amal Clooney, have been known for their humanitarian efforts for years. Together, they have been vocal against human-rights violations.
On May 5, the Sultan of Brunei announced the capital punishment against the LGBT community will be dropped.
It was reported that the decision came in response to the rising global backlash. Will this restore Brunei’s reputation on the global stage?