Calling North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law “despicable,” Pearl Jam takes “a stand against prejudice” by canceling their upcoming concert scheduled April 20 in Raleigh.
Explaining their decision, the band issued the following statement earlier today:
It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.
This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.
The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.
It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.
We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.
In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.
Perhaps even celebrate.
With immense gratitude for your understanding,
By canceling their show, Pearl Jam joins a growing chorus of celebrities condemning North Carolina’s draconian new law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use, and prohibits local governments from enacting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, effectively promoting discrimination and bigotry against the LGBT population.
Last week Ringo Starr canceled a show in North Carolina for the same reason. In a statement Starr said:
I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.
Earlier this month Bruce Springsteen raised his voice against anti-gay religious bigotry and discrimination by canceling a concert he had scheduled in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Springsteen released a statement announcing he had canceled the North Carolina concert in “solidarity” with those protesting the anti-LGBT law.
Also earlier this month, former NBA star Charles Barkley spoke out against the unjust “religious freedom” law in North Carolina, and argued that the NBA should reject discrimination, and move the high-profile All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Adding insult to injury, porn giant xHamster is refusing service to anyone with a North Carolina IP address to protest the state’s new anti-LGBT law.
In addition, recent reports indicate the federal government may cut billions in aid to North Carolina and Mississippi after both states passed unprecedented measures that legalize discrimination against LGBT people.
Bottom line: Pearl Jam is right – North Carolina’s new law is a despicable piece of legislation, and the band deserve credit for taking a stand against prejudice.