Rose McGowan Is Defying The Dorchester Hotel Group Boycott By Staging ‘Gay-In’

The Charmed actress doesn't want to hurt the staff at the boycotted hotels, but still opposes the Sultan's new laws, which see gay people facing the death penalty...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Rose McGowan might have worked her magic throughout TV series Charmed, but we had no idea she had the IRL clout to change our perceptions of the Dorchester Collection boycott. The boycott of the hotel group – broken at the weekend by Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry, as we reported yesterday – was brought about by celebrities upset that the Sultan of Brunei, who owns the chain, had introduced a harsh penal system in his country.

The code – said to be influenced by Sharia law – would see gay people face the death penalty simply for being gay, and adulterers stoned to death. So, celebrities like Stephen Fry, Richard Branson and Anna Wintour have all expressed that they will boycott the hotel.

Russell Crowe offended some when he said that he wouldn’t support the boycott, as it would throw the staff 'under the bus to make a political point'. And, in unlikely news of the day, he’s in cahoots with Rose McGowan. The actress – who’s upset that the dip in bookings at the hotel group will result in staff being laid off – held a cocktail party at The Beverly Hills Hotel in support. In the email invite to dozens of her friends, she said: ‘I want to assemble a group of men and women (and hopefully some adulteresses) that would be stoned in Brunei but that will be welcome at the BH.’

Her friend and co-host, Amanda Goodwin, explained that they threw the party together in the full knowledge of the human rights abuses the Sultan’s legislation has paved the way for. ‘We just thought, “Wouldn't it be great if we got together some fabulous people, gay and straight, and responded to this hate with love instead of ignoring it?”’

‘Listen, I'm gay. I'm married to a woman,’ Goodwin told The Huffington Post, adding: ‘I hate what the Sultan is doing to people in Brunei, but I don't think that responding to what he's doing with more hate is the answer. I really feel that way. I think it's great that we're here, being gay, sitting on his sofa. I really want to gay this place up.’

The protest, which has been nicknamed by press as a 'gay-in', was further defended by McGowan, who explained that not going along to the hotel isn’t going to harm the Sultan, but the workers at his hotels. ‘Boycotts only work when they hurt the target's bottom line,’ she said. ‘We are never going to affect the sultan's bottom line. He's worth $20bn (£11.9bn)! This is a vanity project for him. It could sit empty for 100 years and he wouldn't even notice. But meanwhile, we're hurting all the wonderful, struggling people who work in the hotel.’

And we think Rose has kind of got a point. We suppose it’s better to attend and make a stand than stay silent on the matter, like Dorchester Collection regulars Lindsay Lohan, Prince Harry and Prince William have done.

So here's our plan of action: next time we’re dragged along to The Dorchester (lol), we’re taking a rainbow flag, getting off with other girls in the lobby and shagging people we’re not married to. They can’t arrest us for doing that here, can they? We mean, surely a lot people checking into hotels are having sex outside of marriage anyway…isn’t that what they are for?

**Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson **

Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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