John Legend announced that he will not be performing or attending the L.A. Confidential Magazine party being held Thursday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel due to the owner’s anti-women and anti-LGBT policies in his country where he is to be honored at the event.
The owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel is the Sultan of Brunei – Hassanal Bolkiah.
“These policies, which among other things could permit women and LGBT Bruneians to be stoned to death, are heinous and certainly don’t represent John’s values or the spirit of the event,” Legend’s rep Amanda Silverman told the Hollywood Reporter. “John does not, in any way, wish to further enrich the Sultan while he continues to enforce these brutal laws.”
The Human Rights Campaign has advocated for Hollywood stars to decline attending the party. The organization wrote a letter to the evening’s planners in disapproval of their decision to honor the Sultan at the event.
“We feel strongly that those who support the rights of women and the LGBT community should take their business elsewhere,” Ty Cobb, the group’s global director said in the letter. “I write to ask that you reconsider your decision to host an event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, or any hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei”.
“L.A. Confidential Magazine is an avid supporter of equal rights of all people,” publisher Alison Miller said in a statement.
At this time, the event is expected to go on as scheduled despite the recent negative media attention.