Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
The outrage over North Carolina’s House Bill Two (HB2) continues to impact both business and entertainment in the state as Ringo Starr has cancelled a planned June concert performance in Cary to protest the bill. The wildly controversial bill states that people are required to use the restroom that corresponds with the gender they were born with, as opposed to the one they identify with. The majority of people view this new law to be discriminatory to transgender people. The bill also prevents homosexuals and transsexuals from receiving public and business accommodations.
Starr is not alone in his celebrity boycott. His decision comes after Bruce Springsteen also cancelled a performance in the state due to HB2. Meanwhile, Jimmy Buffett has threatened to cancel future concerts if the bill is not reversed, and Cyndi Lauper is turning a scheduled concert into a rally to speak out against HB2.
Entertainers are not the only ones who are boycotting the state. Corporations are also cancelling expansions in NC, hoping that the economic damage will convince lawmakers to make a change. One of these companies is PayPal, which is cancelling plans for a nearly $4 million operations center. The center had the potential to create over four-hundred jobs. Deutsche bank is putting a stop to proposed expansions as well, costing the state around 250 jobs. North Carolina State University is also being hurt by the law as several companies are pulling out from plans to expand its Centennial Campus with new business.
The fallout from HB2 is already serious, and even more celebrities and companies are joining in the boycott. Their goal is to get the bill either significantly changed or repealed. Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order on April 12 that amended the bill, reinstating the right to sue for discrimination and allowing the private sector to establish its own discrimination policies, but many opponents are still not happy. With this kind of intense backlash, it may not be long before HB2 is a thing of the past.