Bruce Springsteen Cancels His North Carolina Concert In Protest Of Anti-LGBT Legislation
The latest celebrity to take a stand against the surge of discriminatory "Bathroom Bills" that are being passed across the nation is Bruce Springsteen, who canceled his Greensboro, North Carolina, concert in light of the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, referred to as HB2. He wrote in a message on his website:
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.
Springsteen follows in the footsteps of other Hollywood influencers and companies that have announced they will boycott the states who are passing laws that bar members of the LGBT community from using any bathroom they are comfortable with, among other practices that make the states less safe for LGBT people and are across the board posed as "Religious Freedom Bills." A similar bill has been passed in Mississippi.
The musician wrote, "To my mind, [the bill] is 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." He also offered solidarity, writing, "It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."
It's an effective form of protest. If states won't bend for progress, they may have to bend for revenue. Rob Reiner announced on March 24 that the values of the bill do not represent the values of North Carolina or America, and said he would boycott filming in the state until and unless the law is repealed. "Until LGBT North Carolinians are treated with equal dignity they deserve, I will not film another production in North Carolina," he said in ad for the Human Rights Campaign.
The director went on to call on Hollywood to take a stand: "I encourage my colleagues in the entertainment industry to vow to do the same. Enough is enough." How right you are, Rob. The director is among more than 30 actors, directors, and producers in Hollywood who have rescinded their business in the state, including directors Lee Daniels, Aaron Sorkin, and Gus Van Sant, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A slew of big companies also recently spoke out when similar legislation was nearly passed in Georgia. According to Variety, MGM, Sony, Lionsgate, 21st Century Fox, the Weinstein Company, CBS, Discovery, Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Time Warner all planned to boycott Georgia if the bill was passed.
In the words of the Boss:
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.