HBO host Bill Maher is “really bothered” over actor George Clooney’s suggestion that people stop staying at Hollywood hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who rules a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.
Maher and conservative pundit S.E. Cupp both railed against the proposed boycott on “Real Time” Friday night. Maher called it ”chickenshit tokenism” while Cupp said it was “hypocritical,” Fox News reported Saturday.
Clooney suggested it would make a positive statement to avoid the sultan’s hotels, including the popular Beverly Hills Hotel, because patronage helps advance Brunei’s severe laws that outlaw same-sex relationships.
“Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney opined in Deadline.
But Maher wondered where the boycotting would begin or end, saying that “really bothered” him.
“It’s chickenshit tokenism,” Maher said. “What about Saudi Arabia? If you really want to get back to them, stop driving, don’t use oil.” (RELATED: Bill Maher Says It’s ‘Very Trump’ For Democrats To Ban Fox News From Hosting Debates)
Cupp noted that Hollywood carries on a “ton of business” with other Arab nations where homosexuality is also outlawed.
“It’s Sharia Law, which is some version of the law in most Muslim-majority countries,” Maher argued. “And if you want to be against that, you know, speak openly and honestly about standing up for liberal principles.” (RELATED: Bill Maher Makes Fried Chicken Joke To Black Congressman)
Although Maher allowed that Clooney may be a “really smart guy” who has a head for politics, the always opinionated host said the movie star’s “virtue signaling” won’t make a difference.
“This idea that the Sultan of Brunei is going over the receipts from the Polo Lounge … ‘Oh no, we only sold two soups today,’” Maher quipped.