10 Celebrities Who've Taken a Stand Against NC's LGBT Discrimination
By Glenn Garner
Photo Courtesy of 98 Degrees Twitter
As headliners of the nostalgia-driven tour, My2K, 98 Degrees made the executive decision to cross two North Carolina performances off their roster. The tour also includes performances from Ryan Cabrera, O-Town, and Dream. Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees told The Hollywood Reporter:
"Like many other artists, we don't appreciate discrimination. So we decided we should take a stand and that's that. Hopefully our fans there will understand, and hopefully they will also contact their state legislator."
Photo Courtesy of Ani DiFranco Twitter
Although Ani DiFranco was announced to headline Durham's Festival for the Eno, she cancelled her performance in protest of HB2. The queer artist released a statement about her decision:
"When one of us is oppressed, all of us are oppressed, and only through the strength of our collective action will change occur. I wish to add my voice through this small action to the chorus of all of those working to make our world a more loving and accepting place."
Photo Courtesy of HRC
Bruce Springsteen cancelled his show in Greensboro earlier this month in response to HB2. He released a statement about his decision:
“As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the 'bathroom' law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. 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. 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. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
In addition, he teamed up with HRC, CrowdRise, and Edward Norton to bring a lucky fan to his sold-out show in Brooklyn, the last stop on his tour. Last week, any gift to HRC entered members for a chance to win.
Photo Courtesy of Cyndi Lauper Instagram
Although Cyndi Lauper shares her musical cohorts' sentiments on the issue, she refused to cancel her Raleigh performance. Instead, she will donate profits from the show to Equality North Carolina, an organization whose current mission is to overturn HB2. She released a statement to clarify her decision:
"The best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life and that is show up for my family, friends, and fans in the LGBT community. So, for that reason I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2."
Photo Courtesy of Duran Duran Twitter
Duran Duran also decided to commit to their Charlotte performance on their Paper Gods tour. A rainbow-striped American flag projected on the backdrop as they announced their support for Equality North Carolina's petition against the bill.
Photo Courtesy of Jane Fonda Twitter
On the red carpet for Tribeca Film Festival, Grace & Frankie besties, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda expressed their disgust for the state's discriminatory bill. Fonda went as far as to personally boycott the state.
Photo Courtesy of Joel McHale Twitter
Joel McHale went ahead with his comedy show at the Durham Performing Arts Center earlier this month. He performed in a homemade LGBTQ T-shirt and pledged to donate all proceeds from the show to the LGBTQ Center of Durham. McHale's representative told People:
"Joel is vehemently opposed to HB2 and knows there are many in Durham (which recently passed a measure condemning the law) that share the feeling. He felt this was a good way to raise awareness and much needed funds for a local center that is on the front line of this important cause."
Disney stars Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato are reuniting for their Honda Civic Tour: Future Now. The duo cancelled their North Carolina stops in response to HB2. Lovato released a statement about their decision:
"After much thought and deliberation, Nick and I have decided to cancel our shows in Raleigh and Charlotte. One of our goals for the Honda Civic Tour: Future Now has always been to create an atmosphere where every single attendee feels equal, included, and accepted for who they are.
North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law is extremely disappointing, and it takes away some of the LGBT community's most basic rights and protections. But we will not allow this to stop us from continuing to make progress for equality and acceptance.
We know the cancelation of these shows is disappointing to our fans, but we trust that you will stand united with us against this hateful law.
Photo Courtesy of Ringo Starr Twitter
Ringo Starr cancelled his show at the Koka Booth Ampitheatre in opposition to HB2. In a press release, the Beatles drummer apologized but stood by his choice:
"I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”