“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.”
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are currently on tour. He was scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday, April 10, but today he announced the show’s cancellation.
In a statement on his website, he condemned House Bill 2, otherwise known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which the North Carolina state legislature passed on March 23. The bill prohibits transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the “biological sex” listed on their birth certificate. It also states that the new state law trumps any local ordinances protecting LGBTQ people and their rights.
In the entertainment world, Lionsgate and the A&E network have both said that they will not film movies and television shows in North Carolina because of the law, and Stephen Schwartz, the composer and lyricist, has said that he would not allow productions of his shows — which include “Wicked” and “Pippin” – to be performed in the state.
The Obama administration is also considering whether the law makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released a statement praising Springsteen’s decision. “Bruce Springsteen is a hero and an icon because he gives voice, both through his music and his advocacy, to those who struggle against injustice and equality,” he said. “It means so much that he has spoken out against this hateful bill on behalf of thousands of citizens whose rights and fundamental dignity are being trampled by the leadership of North Carolina.”
Springsteen wrote in a statement: “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.”
We salute you Bruce!