8 Artists and Entertainers Boycotting North Carolina over Religious Freedom Law

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The passage of North Carolina’s HB2, Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also known as the “bathroom bill,” has caused several progressive entertainers to boycott that state in protest of the legislation.

HB 2 prohibits transgender men who identify as women to use public female restrooms in North Carolina.

Breitbart News has been reporting on these boycotters from day one, and below is the list:

1. Stephen Schwartz

On March 31, Broadway musical writer Stephen Schwartz called on North Carolina theaters to cease all performances of the more than a dozen musicals he’s penned, including WickedChildren of Eden, and Pippin. Schwartz went so far as to compare North Carolina’s law to apartheid in South Africa.

“In the 1970s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and, as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective, Schwartz wrote in a statement posted in BroadwayWorld.com. “If you are in agreement, you may want to join me in refusing to license our properties to, or permit productions of our work by, theaters and organizations in North Carolina until this heinous legislation is repealed.”

2. Bruce Springsteen

Musician Bruce Springsteen said his decision to drop out of North Carolina was in support of the “fight against prejudice and bigotry.”

“Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden,” Springsteen wrote in a lengthy statement. “To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.”

3. Jimmy Buffet

Buffett wrote on April 9 that he will perform the two upcoming shows in North Carolina that were “booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law.” Buffet warns, however, that future shows will depend on the future of the law.

“We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week. That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed,” Buffet wrote. “That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, ‘Stupid is as stupid does.'”

4. Ringo Starr

This week, Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr cancelled an upcoming performance in North Carolina. Star apologized to his fans in a statement, saying, “I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”

5. Cyndi Lauper

Although she’s not technically boycotting, Longtime LBGT rights activists Cyndi Lauper said she plans to turn her upcoming June 4 show into a “day to build public support to repeal HB2.”

Lauper plans to funnel the proceeds from her North Carolina show to gay rights advocacy group, Equality North Carolina, in an effort to repeal the HB2.

“The pressure to repeal HB2 is building, and it is beautiful. In the dark haze of such oppression, people and companies are stepping up to fight back against this unjust law and ensure that all North Carolinians are treated with dignity and respect, especially the transgender community,” the singer wrote.

6. Laura Jane Grace

Punk rock band Against Me founder Laura Jane Grace is also planning to play her May 15 concert in Durham, North Carolina, and donate the proceeds toward efforts to repeal HB2.

“I think the real danger with HB2 is that it creates a target on transgender people specifically,” Grace told BuzzFeed. “When you feel targeted as a trans person, the natural inclination is to go into hiding. But visibility is more important than ever; to go there and have the platform of a stage to stand on and speak your mind and represent yourself.”

7. Brandi Carlile

Carlile also plans to donate all of the proceeds from her upcoming North Carolina shows to “the ACLU Foundation of North Carolina, as well as inviting several grass roots organizations to be a part of the evening.”

“Freedom to practice one’s religion shouldn’t grant them the right to exclude and humiliate a person morally or legally. From what I understand of the faith I know — service is never in conflict with the gospel,” Carlile said of North Carolina’s bathroom bill.

8. Michael Moore

Filmmaker Michael Moore jumped on the boycott bandwagon this week over what he called North Carolina’s “bigoted law against LGBTQ” and announced that he has asked the distributor of his latest film, Where to Invade Next, to halt all showings of the film in North Carolina theaters.

Honorable mentions: Canada’s Bryan Adams canceled a planned concert in Mississippi this week. “I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi,” Adams wrote in a statement.

Sharon Stone backed out of production for a short film in Mississippi because of the state’s religious liberty bill.

“I will not work in any state that holds or is actively creating laws to legally support discrimination against American citizens whether due to their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, nor where those laws are passed or approved by the government of said state,” Stone said in a statement.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.


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