Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman met with Hollywood actors and producers for an intimate dinner earlier this week, during which alcohol was served, according to a now edited post on social media by film star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Bin Salman attended the event on Monday evening, along with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara, National Geographic CEO Courtney Monroe, film producer and director James Cameron, and actors Morgan Freeman and Johnson. Other prominent figures from the entertainment industry were also present.
A revealing Instagram post by Johnson seemed to suggest that the Crown Prince had also been served alcohol during the course of the evening. The actor joked that he would “be sure to bring my finest tequila to share with his [sic] Royal Highness and family” on a trip to Saudi Arabia.
On Instagram, Johnson’s post has been edited, removing the insinuation about sharing alcohol with the Prince’s family. However, the original post still remains visible on his Facebook.
This has led to raised eyebrows, given that alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia and its possession is punishable by hundreds of lashes.
The Crown Prince and his entourage have rented the entire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for several nights during his visit to Los Angeles. The Saudi General Entertainment Authority also held a summit at the hotel, where officials met with dozens of Hollywood’s elite to discuss the future of the Kingdom’s entertainment industry. Bin Salman lifted a ban on cinemas last December. The first new cinema will open to the public later this month, with a showing of Marvel’s superhero movie Black Panther.
While a handful of activists protested throughout the Prince’s trip against the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen and the treatment of women in the Kingdom, Hollywood welcomed the changes in the country under the direction of the 32-year-old son of King Salman.
The Crown Prince is reported to have sealed a number of business deals whilst he is in the US, including a partnership between Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, and Google on cloud computing, and an agreement between the Saudi energy giant and defence corporation Raytheon.