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John Legend Won't Attend A Party Thrown For Him At Beverly Hills Hotel
John Legend isn't going to attend a fancy schmancy pre-Grammys magazine party at the Beverly Hills Hotel, even if he's getting honored at the event. The singer is boycotting the hotel's controversial ties to the Sultan of Brunei and his awful anti-LGBT and anti-women laws.
L.A. Confidential magazine made plans to celebrate their December/January issue which honored Legend on the front cover with a soiree on Thursday at the hotel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Legend is nominated for an award for his track, "All of Me," for the Grammys, which is taking place this weekend.
It was pretty much a poor planning choice on the magazine's part since folks—including celebrities like Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey—have been boycotting the hotel since last year when Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who partly owns the hotel, launched a new set of horrific sharia laws in the tiny country of Brunei. According to these laws, it's a crime to be an adulterer or an LGBT individual, and the harsh punishments include stoning and amputation.
The Human Rights Campaign asked the magazine to hold their party elsewhere, in support of the rights of women and the LGBT community. However, L.A. Confidential isn't budging. The magazine's publisher, Alison Miller, told the Hollywood Reporter on Monday, "Our decision to hold our event at the hotel in no way suggests that we support any anti-human rights policies.
That statement alone wasn't enough to convince Legend to attend the party. The singer's rep sent this statement to the outlet on Tuesday: "John Legend will not be attending the L.A. Confidential party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, February 5th in light of the horrific anti-women and anti-LGBT policies approved by the hotel's owner, the Sultan of Brunei. 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. John does not, in any way, wish to further enrich the Sultan while he continues to enforce these brutal laws."
There's more in store for the party, though. A labor union called Unite Here! is organizing a protest to take place during the event that encourages protesters to ask musicians and celebrities attending the event to leave. They're also asking people rallying to "throw glitter, not stones" at the hotel.