Almost a year after Hollywood celebrities joined leading LGBT and women’s rights groups to call for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel, the boycott seems to be easing according to various celebrity news sources.

Heidi Shink, second from right, at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge (Facebook)
Heidi Shink, second from right, at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge (Facebook)

Among those celebrities seen frequenting the hotel recently are Russell Crowe, Sean Pitt, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie according to Showbiz 411, a celebrity news site. This month Los Angeles Confidential magazine held an event at the hotel that was boycotted by John Legend, the singer-songwriter who was supposed to be one of the honorees. Heidi Shink, a leading West Hollywood lesbian figure and a candidate in the June 2 race for a West Hollywood City Council seat, also was photographed recently with friends in the hotel’s Polo Lounge.

The boycott was sparked by a decision by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, to put into effect in that nation a system of laws based on the Islamic Shariah that calls for death by stoning, severing of arms and legs and flogging for those who commit adultery, have abortions or engage in gay sex. The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills are owned by the Dorchester Group, which is owned by an investment group controlled by Bolkiah.

Among those the celebrities who have publicly boycotted the hotel are Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osborne and Jay Leno, whose wife, Mavis Leno, is chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls. LGBT organizations that have supported the boycott include the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading LGBT rights organization. The Beverly Hills City Council last May voted to ask the Sultan of Brunei to sell the Dorchester Group.

24 thoughts on “Hollywood Celebs, and WeHo Council Candidate Heidi Shink, Are Back at the Beverly Hills Hotel”

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    Personal egos & image conscious pictures come first for some folks, standing up against discrimination & standing with those who would publicly protest against hate & laws that kill innocent human beings, not so much. This picture is a visual blight with a resonant stench. Is this who you want on YOUR City Council?

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    I question these boycotts because in some cases they rely on false information. A case in point is the one still in effect against Coors Beer. Coors Beer has always had a pro gay and lesbian agenda including a employee Gay & Lesbian Organization. They were non union because their employees had better benefits than those working for other brewerys. As of about five or six years ago Coors became part of the same company that owns Millers yet the boycott still exists.Yes, a family memeber contributed to a anti gay organization but that was a private contribution not a corporate one. Do we punish a pro gay company because one of their stock holders contributes to a cause we disagree with.

    Now in the case of the hotel. Is the hotel gay and lesbian friendly? Is the Dorchester Group Gay & Lesbian friendly. Per the article a unnamed investment group is controlled by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei whom is anti Gay & Lesbian. It seems just one invester is anti Gay & Lesbian much like the Coors boycott.

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    This is insulting, Heidi should NEVER be on the WeHo City Council. She claims to be a “LGBT activist”….she certainly can’t walk the walk.

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    I’m disappointed that a self-styled LGBT activist would patronize a business like this. Blood money from the coffers of this hotel go to fund and support blatant acts of hate and discrimination against the LGBT community. You cannot be a part-time civil rights activist, only when it is convenient. Ms. Shink needs to answer as to why she thinks it is okay to patronize the Sultan of Brunei’s businesses.

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      That’s what I think about Bud and Millers. One gives me a terrible headache after one bottle while the other upsets my stomach. Further more Coors is the only beer made in a sterile environment. That’s why it is not pasteurized, it’s clean from the start to the finish.

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    In May, 2014, I attended a large protest in Will Rogers Park across from the BH Hotel & was very proud to see activists like Jay & Mavis Leno, Francis Fisher, Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation, & many other prominent human rights activists, leading a protest against the declaration of the Sultan of Brunei that he would be enforcing his religious calling to stone gay men & women to death, & calling for a boycott of his hotels as a public awareness campaign for human rights. The Sultan declared the same fate for so called adulterers even as he keeps a harem of women ensconced in his various hotels for his personal sexual pleasure. I was proud to witness these people making a public statement against this kind of threat to basic human freedom, as well as simple common decency, & was proud to stand beside them. That Heidi Shink should choose to party at a hotel owned by this ugly capricious little man is an insult to the community & to the city she seeks to help govern & casts her judgment into serious question. I don’t know this woman & had never heard of her until she jumped on the City Council candidate wagon, but perhaps someone could inform her that there are numerous beautiful “party hotels” in West Hollywood that she could help support instead of thumbing her nose in the face of those who work to try & protect her rights & freedoms as a member of the LGBT community. If you can’t help, Heidi, don’t hurt.

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    typical liberals, do as i say, not as i do.
    i expect nothing from republicans, but the dems fain the idea that they are better, more evolved, more progressive. liars.

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    Ms. Shink’s promotes herself as creative, progressive, liberal or otherwise-Democrat? I don’t know based on these developments! Really, Ms. Shink, don’t you think you should consider all West Hollywood residents especially the 40% LGBT when you publically proclaim and show your support the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Sultan of Brunei anti-gay agenda. This is deplorable.

    You certainly gave, with your own action, the marginal % of voters Election Day in June an easy choice. I will be the first to vote for any candidate that shows, walks-the-walk like I have seen from Councilperson Land these past many years. You are with, all-due-respect, a bit of a hypocrite! I have seen very little conversation, and leadership from you. This incident seals your fate I’m afraid.

    We need gender equality, full inclusion on our council and not a council person that is consumed in photo-Op wherever possible. Appointed by former council person Prang, she has had the Planning Commission appointment handed to her. We’ll, now was the time to start showing us your creative, inclusive character you profess and leadership, vision we could follow. Your action in patronizing The Beverly Hills Hotel is reckless and not what is best for West Hollywood.

    I don’t think, respectfully, Ms. Shink, your judgment is beyond reproach. You should be promoting a platform that will enhance our council. Full equality for women, equal pay, full access to social services to all women and all residents of West Hollywood. Affordable housing, transportation, parking, campaign finance reform…these are what we should see you actively involved in and if a photo-op for these issues is published, that’s a good thing.

    I will not support a candidate in our city’s Special Election that at best, is distasteful and disrespectful for all LGBT communities and those that support us. You should know better but the camera always seems to call and your there. This time, a very poor yet revealing choice and from you. Join the protestors and not the Polo Lounge patrons.

    Just not right for West Hollywood City Council. It’s a definite ‘No’ for me on June 2, 2015.

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      Ms. Shink is just a typical Democrat. Do as I say, not as I do. Former Congressman Henry Waxman advocated pro transit but he introduced a bill many years ago that STOPPED the continuation of the Purple Line Subway west under Wilshire Bl. It was only last year he backed the repeal of that legislation. Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley advocated public transit but spearheaded the privatization of many RTD lines and the formation of Foothill Transit which is operated by private contractors. Laidlaw, the largest private contractor in the U.S. , was a Canadian Company and Viola which has most of the contracts is a French company. Viola was the operator of MetroLink that hit the U.P. freight head on in the San Fernando Valley. And let’s not forget Bill Clinton signing two pieces of anti gay legislation, DADT and DOMA.

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    Last Friday night, I was invited to join a gathering of friends already in progress at the Polo Lounge in order to see a friend’s mother who was in town briefly from New Zealand. I have been an activist for LGBTQ and women’s issues for over 30 years, starting as a member of the original “ACT UP!” in New York. I was proud to stand against the Polo Lounge’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, and his brutal regime when we originally protested the Hotel last year, and my mistake does not that make that protest or the boycott that followed any less valid. I want to use this opportunity to deeply apologize to my fellow protesters as well as to the broader LGBTQ and women’s communities and to ask for their forgiveness. Because of my long history of activism on these issues, it is only fair that I be held to a high moral standard. Going forward, I will take this experience as a teachable moment and continue my fight for equality for the LGBTQ and women’s communities.

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    Ms.Shink- what a half a–ed apology. First it’s an excuse. Then your so called apology. Then another excuse about a higher standard. Huh? Higher standard? How about the standard you set and asked others to follow. You probably were not that active in Act Up, anymore then you throw these titles around of things you have accomplished that are only half true as in your repremand from one board for claiming you were on the board when you weren’t and use of stonewall names that were prohibited. Your approach seems to be I’m a lesbian vote for me. Your just a democratic puppet who has really not done anything except join boards and clubs.

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    but mike dunn, you’re forgetting that if you merely present yourself as a progressive and make sure you spit out the usual diatribe against haters, then you are inoculated from actually walking the walk.
    so ms. shink says she’s been an activist for thirty years…and yet, she enjoyed the beverly hills hotel with her ‘gathering of friends’. what’s the problem?
    she says she ‘stands’ with the ‘community’. isn’t that enough? you actually want her to be authentic?

    it’s not just a mistake, it’s poor judgement, and we need character strength on the counsel, not platitudes and pandering.


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    Hank – who are the announced candidates for the June elections? That’s a pretty important election possibly. When is the deadline for candidates? (Whether it is before or after next week is relevant).

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    Maybe Abbe Land might get back into the fray – she’d win easily. The question is whether non-winners next week might be back. Thx for the update.

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