Ellen DeGeneres, who joined Sharon Osborne and other high-profile, A-list celebrities in a very public boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel (and its legendary and popular eatery and bar The Polo Lounge) because its owned by the anti-gay Sultan of Brunei, now has the Ellen DeGeneres Show shown in the same nation that has the laws she and others are protesting against.
And an analysis of the Ellen / Maylasia Media deal boils down to this news: Ellen DeGeneres Show, because of the way the cable system works in that nation, winds up taking money from Brunei, in effect making Ellen DeGeneres’ actions with respect to the Beverly Hills Hotel look hypocritical.
Moreover, Malaysia’s also equally hostile to homosexuals: Malaysian law currently calls for “whipping and up to a 20-year prison sentence for homosexual acts involving either men or women.” In fact, a cursory review of the laws regarding LGBT persons in the nations carrying Ellen DeGeneres Show – Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and The Philippines – reveal a level of hostility and legal obstacles for LGBT persons so intense in most cases that, overall, one has to question Ellen’s stance on The Beverly Hills Hotel.
The news places Ellen DeGeneres in the same situation Zennie62 found Sharon Osborne in, who, with her husband Ozzie Osborne, produced a giant concert in anti-gay Abu Dhabi, just as she was calling for a boycott of the The Beverly Hills Hotel.
A Tangled Web
The deal that brought Ellen DeGeneres Show to Brunei was announced by Lifetime Asia, and reads like this according to the October 14th press release:
The syndicated Ellen DeGeneres Show, now in its 12th season, will premiere on Lifetime Asia, weekdays at 8 p.m. (SIN/HK) as a same-day telecast with the United States beginning Oct. 20.
“We are hugely excited to bring Ellen to Lifetime in Asia and we strongly believe we add value by broadcasting the show in less than 24 hours from the U.S. premiere,” said Michele Schofield, SVP, programming and marketing, A+E Networks Asia. “Ellen is such a topical show; we’re excited to give our viewers the same opportunities to share in the water cooler conversation.”
The series will now be available in Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and The Philippines.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is produced by A Very Good Production and WAD Productions in association with Telepictures Productions and is distributed internationally by Warner Bros. International Television Distribution.
In my research on the deal, Lifetime Asia brought Ellen DeGeneres Show to Malaysia and Brunei by way of an agreement with a company called Astro Malaysia. Lifetime Asia is owned by A+E Networks Asia, which works with Astro Malaysia, which, in 2013, announced that it will continue to carry A+E Networks channels in Malaysia and Brunei.
A+E Networks Asia is a a joint venture, launched in 2007, with Malaysian pay-TV to newspapers group Astro All Asia Networks and its billionaire owner Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia’s second richest person. Krishman, who also owns much of Astro Malaysia, hails from the same school as The Sultan Of Brunei, the Victorian Institution.
Stay tuned for updates.