Virgin CEO Richard Branson has joined the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry and some fashion designers who said they are boycotting the luxury Dorchester Hotel chain over the owner's ties to the introduction of Sharia law in the Sultanate of Brunei.
"No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights," Branson tweeted Saturday from his personal Twitter account.
The Dorchester Collection, which includes the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel Air Hotel, The Dorchester and several other luxury-level properties around the word, is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, a branch of the Ministry of Finance of Brunei.
At issue is the decision of the oil-rich state to adopt a strict form of Sharia law that would call for the severing of limbs for theft, as well as stoning to death for adultery or homosexual acts, according to the BBC. Enforcement would be limited to within the borders of Brunei.
The annual Global Women's Rights Awards, co-chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno, moved from the Beverly Hills Hotel as part of the boycott. The awards, scheduled for Monday, will instead by held at the Hammer Museum. The rights group said the former late-night talk show host will take part in a "StopTheSultan Rally" on Monday afternoon in the park across from the Beverly Hills Hotel, along with United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and others.
Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive officer of the Dorchester Collection, said boycott should not be directed at the hotels and its employees.