As the backlash to North Carolina's recent "anti-discrimination" law grows, one of music's biggest names is canceling an upcoming concert in the state in protest.
Bruce Springsteen released a statement Friday on his website announcing the cancellation of a concert he was set to perform with his E Street Band on Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., due to the passing of the controversial 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 said in the statement, adding, "It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."
Springsteen apologized to his fans in Greensboro, where refunds will be offered to ticket holders.
In March, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure, which prevents in-state municipalities from passing their own anti-discrimination regulations, and prevents transgender individuals from using the bathroom for the sex which they identify.
"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," Springsteen's statement began.
"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," Springsteen continued.
"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."
Springsteen is the first artist to cancel a show over HB2, but other celebrities and businesses have been vocal in their opposition to the law. Charles Barkley is pushing the NBA to move the All-Star game from Charlotte, and PayPal halted plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte.