Pepperdine Dr. Rapier: Misaligned Values at Center of Beverly Hills Hotel-Brunei Laws Boycott
An expert guest on KPCC’s AirTalk public radio talk show, marketing professor Steve Rapier commented on the escalating controversy regarding the Sultan of Brunei’s ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Boycotts, local government condemnation and entertainment community event cancellations continue over the Sultan’s imposition of Islamic laws that allow gays and adulterers to be stoned or dismembered, among other punishments. Protesters and the City of Beverly Hills insist the Sultan divest of his stakes in the hotel properties.
“I don’t believe it is a win-win situation for the Sultan if he holds onto the properties as well as resists changing his laws,” said Professor Rapier, who criticizes the hotels and Brunei for not understanding how to handle a crisis. “As long as the brand –be it the hotel or anyone associated with him [the Sultan]—has values counter to their core values [Los Angeles entertainment community and protesting groups] I see it as an impossible fix.”