On March 23 North Carolina’s general assembly passed a bill “barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates.” The New York Times editorial board slammed the legislation, writing that it “makes North Carolina [a] pioneer in bigotry,” while regional editorial boards admonished the “recklessness and foolishness” of state officials rolling back nondiscrimination protections. On April 7, NBA analyst and TV personality Charles Barkley told CNN “the NBA should move the all-star game from Charlotte” due to the law.
Fox News host Todd Starnes lashed out at Springsteen on Twitter by pushing the conservative “bathroom predator” myth, claiming that Springsteen’s opposition to the anti-LGBT law meant Springsteen wanted “grown men to use the bathroom with little girls”:
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) April 8, 2016
In a statement reported by Yahoo News, Springsteen said “this fight against prejudice and bigotry” in North Carolina is “more important than a rock show”:
Bruce Springsteen is taking a stand over recently passed legislation in North Carolina that requires people in the state to use gendered public restrooms that match their birth certificate, specifically targeting transgender people. In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Springsteen canceled an upcoming show in Greensboro, N.C., over the law.
“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,” Springsteen wrote. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”
In his statement, Springsteen notes that fans can get their tickets refunded for Sunday’s concert. You can read the full statement here:
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.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Sunday April 10th show is canceled. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.