HRC Chief Foundation Officer: “Shame on the Sultan of Brunei”
June 4, 2014 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Today in an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, HRC Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer called out the Sultan of Brunei and the Dorchester Collection to continuing its shameful tactic of using its employees as a smoke screen to hide criticism of the regime.
“The fundamental truth is that profits from these hotels belong to a regime that could start stoning women and LGBT people as soon as next year. The only person truly responsible for the situation is the sultan himself.
Regardless, Dorchester has said that its employees are the “victims” of these actions and that only they would feel the financial impact of Americans taking business elsewhere. Now the company has begun to parade employees -- some of whom would be subjected to the laws in Brunei -- and their stories into the media and online.
The ploy comes despite assurances that the company has guaranteed the jobs, income, gratuities and benefits of all of its employees during the controversy. This stands in stark contrast to its claim that actions against the sultan’s hotels will result in a big income loss for its staff. Its leadership is talking out of both sides of their mouths. Given the guarantees, how will its staff actually be impacted?
We urge Hollywood to see past this smoke screen. With $20 billion in the bank, the sultan can afford to support his employees. But what his company cannot afford to do -- if it wishes to fix its badly damaged reputation -- is continue to shamefully use its employees in a deceptive effort to shield the sultan from criticism.”
Read the article in its entirety on The Hollywood Reporter.
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