Bruce Springsteen announced on Friday that he is cancelling a concert in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday in protest over a new state law that restricts which restrooms transgender people can use and supersedes local LGBT protections.
“Right now, there are many groups, businesses and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments,” Springsteen said in a statement. “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.”
The law has already been condemned by a number of businesses. The MPAA issued a statement opposing the action, and Lionsgate was making plans to shift production of a Hulu TV pilot, “Crushed,” from the state to Vancouver after the law was passed.
Tickets to the Springsteen show will be refunded.
“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,” Springsteen said in his statement. “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.”
He added, “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.”
PayPal announced this week that it was dropping plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte because of the new law.