In case you somehow managed to miss it, there was a pretty star-studded event in Dubai over the weekend as the celebs came out in force for the opening of a new hotel, Atlantis The Royal.
Beyoncé was paid a reported $24 million for flying out to perform a private set at the launch, and Kendall Jenner was also in attendance as her 818 tequila brand partnered with the hotel for the event.
Liam Payne and Ellen Pompeo were among the guests who were excited to bear witness to Beyoncé’s first live performance since 2018, where she was even joined onstage by her 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.
Rebel Wilson and her fashion designer girlfriend Ramona Agruma also made the exclusive guest list, and it looked like they had a brilliant time.
Rebel shared a video montage of her and Ramona’s weekend to her social media page on Sunday, where she also spoke highly of the new hotel.
In the clips, the two women can be seen exploring the grounds before embracing and holding hands. They then jumped up and down while watching Beyoncé perform.
“Atlantis The Royal is BEYond! What a weekend with BEY! @atlantistheroyal,” Rebel captioned the post.
But before long, Rebel’s followers were calling her out in the comments, accusing the star of being a hypocrite and saying that she and Ramona ought to be “ashamed” for supporting a country where being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is still a crime punishable by death.
Rebel came out as gay in June, when she shared a photo of herself and Ramona alongside the caption: “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince…but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney princess.”
And many felt that the famous couple’s promotion of Atlantis The Royal was an example of their “privilege” as they pointed out that members of Rebel’s own community would be at risk if they traveled there.
“Gee Rebel. You do know that it’s the death penalty in Dubai for homosexuality?? Supporting such a country is really really poor form, especially as a member of that community 🤯” one of her followers commented.
“Aren’t You a member of LGBTQ+ community? The hypocrisy of it all,” another person wrote. Someone else echoed: “Promoting a hotel in a country where it’s illegal to be gay is an interesting choice for a gay woman such as yourself Rebel.”
“Oh the privilege. What about other LGBT people?” someone else asked. Another added: “You realize they’re anti you right? Better.”
“Uhm, they kill our kind over there. Why are you promoting this?” one more LGBT+ person wrote. Another comment read: “You two honestly be ashamed. Others get jailed, or worse. Your privilege is showing.”
“A nice free trip, to a place that you can’t be gay in,” one critic agreed. “I had friends who were homosexual in Dubai, they had to get a two bedroom apartment just in case the authorities knocked on their door.”
Ramona also promoted the hotel when she shared photos from the trip to her own Instagram page, writing: “The new must visit destination!The Grand opening of the fabulous @atlantistheroyal”
Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates where same-sex sexual activity is punishable by the death penalty in compliance with Sharia law.
There are several recorded incidents of Dubai taking criminal action against members of the LGBTQ+ community, with the city’s Court of Appeal finding a lesbian couple guilty of kissing on a public beach in 2008.
They were sentenced to one month in prison for the “indecent acts,” and the two women, who were tourists, were deported after serving their jail time.
In 2013, two transgender women from Brazil called the police to a Dubai nightclub after they suffered prejudice from the venue’s security guards. The police ended up arresting the women for “imitating the opposite sex,” and they were detained in prison while facing criminal charges. They were found $2,722.50 and deported.
Three years later, Canadian YouTuber and model Gigi Gorgeous, who is a transgender woman, was detained for five hours at Dubai International Airport and had her passport confiscated.
And in 2017, a British man faced three years in jail after he put his hand on another man in a bar in order not to “bump and spill drinks.” He was arrested for public indecency because he touched the other man’s hip, but the charges were eventually dropped when the ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, intervened.
Rebel has not publicly acknowledged the backlash that her Dubai trip has sparked, and BuzzFeed News has contacted her rep for comment.
Rebel and Ramona’s controversial getaway comes just two months after Rebel announced the birth of her first child, who was born via surrogate.
The star shared a photo of the newborn, Royce Lillian, in November, alongside the caption: “I can’t even describe the love I have for her, she’s a beautiful miracle! I am forever grateful to everyone who has been involved, (you know who you are), and this has been years in the making … but particularly wanted to thank my gorgeous surrogate who carried her and birthed her with such grace and care. Thank you for helping me start my own family, it’s an amazing gift. The best gift!!”
Royce can be seen in some of Rebel’s posts from Dubai, with her face obscured by emojis.