Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

Hollywood hypocrites find a new cause

By S.E. Cupp
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 2126 GMT (0526 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • SE Cupp: Celebrities boycotting Beverly Hills Hotel owned by Brunei sultan's investment group
  • Cupp: Brunei now has Sharia law, but celebs happy to make repressive UAE a destination
  • UAE punishes homosexuality, adultery can bring death -- yet Hollywood makes movies there
  • Cupp: If celebs want to oppose repression, shun UAE, not local hotel employing U.S. workers

Editor's note: S.E. Cupp is co-host of "Crossfire," which airs at 6:30 p.m. ET weekdays on CNN. She is also the author of "Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity," co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right," a columnist at the New York Daily News and a political commentator for Glenn Beck's The Blaze. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) -- Imagine a place where police use online dating services to entrap and arrest gay men. Or a country that arrests a 14-year-old girl for adultery and then performs an invasive "virginity test" on her. Or where a woman is sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

Hollywood celebrities are rightly outraged to discover that places like this exist, and they're showing it by boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel, owned by an investment group of the Sultan of Brunei's, to protest his country's new Sharia laws against homosexuality and adultery.

Brunei is merely a newcomer on the scene. It joins 81 other countries where homosexuality is illegal. And, sadly, it's hardly the only place in the world where adultery is punishable by death.

S.E. Cupp
S.E. Cupp

But the place I was talking about before, where homosexuals are arrested and deported, and adulterers are sentenced to stoning, wasn't Brunei. It was the United Arab Emirates, a favorite destination and filming location for wealthy Hollywood celebrities.

Remember "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"? That was filmed in Dubai. Justin Timberlake will perform in Abu Dhabi this month. Jennifer Lopez performed in Dubai in March. The last "Fast & Furious," No. 7, is reportedly filming there right now. George Clooney, Ben Affleck, the Kardashians -- have all been popular guests of the money-soaked Emirates.

Opinion: Why stone them for who they love?

Author: Sultan of Brunei breaks own rules
Leno wife on Beverly Hills Hotel boycott

And the money flows both ways. Abu Dhabi Media, wholly owned by the United Arab Emirates, has invested hundreds of millions in American film companies. In 2012, for example, its subsidiary, Image Media Abu Dhabi, financed a new movie starring Matt Damon called "Promised Land," about the evils of hydraulic fracking. That's right -- an anti-fracking movie was subsidized by the oil-rich UAE. You gotta love Hollywood.

It's unclear how far Brunei will go in enforcing its newly adopted Sharia law—and there are few instances in recent years of the UAE actually carrying out Sharia punishments, such as flogging. But the laws allowing such sentences are on the books.

Whereas it's unlikely most Hollywood celebrities could locate Brunei on a map (it shares the huge island of Borneo with Malaysia and Indonesia), I bet many know their way to Dubai.

Will they boycott the United Arab Emirates, with its glitzy, Hollywood-friendly hotels, star-studded film festival, picturesque shooting locations and oil-rich investment money, if they know its politics are similarly intolerant?

Brunei is a little too exotic, far away and easy to avoid. And while much closer to home, so is the Beverly Hills Hotel. I'm sure there are plenty of other venues willing to host movie premieres, record launch parties and Lindsay Lohan's entourage.

So rather than Hollywood celebrities boycotting a Los Angeles hotel -- in the town where they live, no less -- putting hundreds of American workers out of work, they should get to know the inconvenient truths about the world they live in and put their money where their mouths are.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
Mike Downey says the Giants and the Royals both lived through long title droughts. What teams are waiting for a win?
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 1832 GMT (0232 HKT)
Mel Robbins says if a man wants to talk to a woman on the street, he should follow 3 basic rules.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 2103 GMT (0503 HKT)
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say more terrorism plots are disrupted by families than by NSA surveillance.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 2125 GMT (0525 HKT)
Time magazine has clearly kicked up a hornet's nest with its downright insulting cover headlined "Rotten Apples," says Donna Brazile.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 2055 GMT (0455 HKT)
Leroy Chiao says the failure of the launch is painful but won't stop the trend toward commercializing space.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Timothy Stanley: Though Jeb Bush has something to offer, another Bush-Clinton race would be a step backward.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Errol Louis says forced to choose between narrow political advantage and the public good, the governors showed they are willing to take the easy way out over Ebola.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
Eric Liu says with our family and friends and neighbors, each one of us must decide what kind of civilization we expect in the United States. It's our responsibility to set tone and standards, with our laws and norms
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Sally Kohn says the UNC report highlights how some colleges exploit student athletes while offering little in return
October 26, 2014 -- Updated 1904 GMT (0304 HKT)
Terrorists don't represent Islam, but Muslims must step up efforts to counter some of the bigotry within the world of Islam, says Fareed Zakaria
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Scott Yates says extending Daylight Saving Time could save energy, reduce heart attacks and get you more sleep
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0032 GMT (0832 HKT)
Reza Aslan says the interplay between beliefs and actions is a lot more complicated than critics of Islam portray
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says control of the Senate will be decided by a few close contests
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1212 GMT (2012 HKT)
The response of some U.S. institutions that should know better to Ebola has been anything but inspiring, writes Idris Ayodeji Bello.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
Sigrid Fry-Revere says the National Organ Transplant Act has caused more Americans to die waiting for an organ than died in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq
ADVERTISEMENT