Rocker Bruce Springsteen has joined the list of celebrities boycotting North Carolina after the state’s legislature passed a bill nullifying local anti-discrimination ordinances, and while some fans love that he’s taken a hard stand on an important cause, others are furious.
The new law, known as HB2 or the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, dictates what bathrooms transgender people can use — and critics are calling the law discriminatory and a violation of human rights.
Springsteen announced on his Facebook page that he is canceling his April 10 show in Greensboro, North Carolina, in support of the “freedom fighters” working towards LGBTQ equal rights.
“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,” Springsteen wrote in the announcement. “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.”
But while some fans applauded Springsteen for standing up for the marginalized, others berated him for reasons both political and financial.
“Good job, we need more celebrities and politicians to boycott NC and Miss.!” wrote Hannah Guttman. “There are examples of NC police already harassing transgender persons that are using bathrooms of their gender.”
“As a mother of a beautiful daughter who just happens to love someone else’s beautiful daughter, this just makes me Love the Boss more and more,” wrote Donna Melchiorre.
John Gullo wrote, “Sun City. Right decision,” referencing the famous music industry boycott of apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s. “Statement has exactly the right tone. I am proud to be a fan. Feel sorry for the ticket holders, of course, but the real fans understand.”
“I believe that might be what’s know [sic] as a 10th Avenue Freeze Out,” wrote Justin Friedland. “Way to go, Boss. You never disappoint.”
But there were plenty of negative responses, too.
“Let me get this straight, you canceled a concert because NC passed a law that protects women from people who were born with the genitalia of a man from entering the same restroom with them? We used to call that common sense,” wrote Kelly Joyce Sr. “Just another example of the sad state of this once great nation that this law had to even be issued.”
Allen Cherry wrote, “No loss. Hope this punk piece of shit doesn’t come to Texas. Freedom fighters my ass. I know freedom fighters. The LGBT community and Springsteen is not in the classification as freedom fighters. Bring your confused, subversive ass into a bathroom my wife is in and I’ll introduce you to freedom fighting.”
“Bad move,” wrote Kevin Frost. “Fans took time off work, paid ridiculous prices on tickets, hotel rooms and more. A last minute cancellation is wrong. Every single town he plays in has its wrongs. Maybe fans should boycot Bruce and his band for outrageous ticket prices. Maybe he should run for office instead of playing his music. B.S. move.It would be nice if he made a statement and all his fans in that town didnt agree and didnt show up for his show. He could play to an empty stadium. I realize it would never happen, but it would be poetic justice.Just another rich artist screwing his fans. The goverment there could not care less.”
Springsteen has not commented further on the boycott.