Prince Azim, Son of Sultan of Brunei, Dies

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday October 26, 2020

Prince Haji 'Abdul' Azim
Prince Haji 'Abdul' Azim  (Source:Associated Press)

Prince Haji 'Abdul' Azim, a Hollywood film producer and the son of the Sultan of Brunei, died on Saturday morning, CNN reports.

As a Hollywood insider with an estimated work of over $5 billion (US dollars), Azim was known for throwing lavish parties attended by celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Gus Kenworthy, Mariah Carey, Caitlyn Jenner, and more. He produced the 2014 film "You're Not You," starring Hillary Swank.

As the second-born son of the Sultan, Azim was believed to be his father's favorite despite being openly gay, Q News Australia reports. A few years ago, the Sultan announced harsh laws, some of which are anti-LGBTQ, with punishments of whipping and stoning to death. In fact, in 2018, Brunei appeared to quickly push through legislation that would punish homosexuality with the death penalty. After international backlash, Brunei said the death penalty would not be enforced. However, the severe anti-LGBTQ laws remain on the books. Azim remained silent on the matter.

Azim's homosexuality did not appear to a problem, however, and he was criticized for living a jet-set life on the dime of Bruneiians who would be subject to his father's inhumane laws. Furthermore, Azim never appeared to speak out on behalf of rights, protections and the sheer innate humanity of LGBTQ people. Azim's privilege and wealth allowed him to live more freely than LGBTQ Bruneiians.

CNN notes that following Azim's funeral on Saturday, Brunei has been in a seven-day period of mourning.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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