Bruce Springsteen isn’t known to shy away from taking a political stand, so his fans may forgive him for canceling an upcoming concert in North Carolina this weekend.
Springsteen and the E Street Band were scheduled to play in Greensboro this Sunday, but a statement on the artist’s website said he’d be standing in solidarity with a number of businesses, groups and individuals boycotting the state over its controversial law regulating the use of bathrooms.
The law requires transgender residents to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate.
“As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday,” the statement read. 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.
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“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.”
Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase, according to the statement.
Springsteen isn't the only one taking entertainment money out of the state: a number of Hollywood projects filmed in North Carolina announced they'd be taking their productions elsewhere — taking millions in investment and hundreds of jobs with them.