Russell Crowe Defends Stance On Sultan Of Brunei Hotel Boycott

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May 20, 2014 | 9:41pm EST

Russell Crowe has defended his remarks about the celebrity boycott of the Sultan of Brunei’s Dorchester Collection hotels, insisting no amount of hate mail will make him change his mind.
Celebrities like Sharon Osbourne, Sir Richard Branson and Stephen Fry have offered public support to the gay rights protests held outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air and other places owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah following the introduction of new laws in Brunei calling for Muslims caught performing homosexual acts to be stoned to death.
The stars have called for a boycott of the places he owns, but Crowe stood up for staff at the hotels on Monday, insisting the proposed stay-away would hurt them too.
In a tweet on Monday, he wrote, “I don’t agree with the boycotting of Dorchester Collection hotels. It only hurts the hard working staff who I consider friends.”
His remarks upset followers on Twitter and some sent him nasty notes, insisting that he change his mind.
But Crowe is defiant, stating, “Sending me abuse will not stop my support of Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Trans Gender rights. The laws that Brunei are adopting are hideous, however, throwing the staff of Dorchester Collection Hotels under the bus to make a political point is not acceptable to me…
“these are hard working people with families and I guarantee you they come from all walks of life.
“to me, it is not acceptable collateral damage to ignore them. These are people I know, people I consider friends.”
He adds, “the decision to enact these laws is reprehensible and horrifying. Pressure your govt (government) to cease trade contact, refuse to use Brunei oil.”