While several veteran acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Boston and Pearl Jam have canceled – or declared their intent to cancel – performances in North Carolina, the younger generation is making a statement about the divisive HB2 law as well.
Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas will no longer perform in Charlotte and Raleigh on their “Honda Civic Tour: Future Now,” which was scheduled to play the cities June 30 and July 2, respectively.
“After much thought and deliberation, Nick and I have decided to cancel our shows in Raleigh and Charlotte,” Lovato said in a statement to GLAAD. “We know the cancellation of these shows is disappointing to our fans, but we trust that you will stand united with us against this hateful law.”
Lovato also wrote on Twitter, “One of our goals for the tour has always been to create an atmosphere where every single attendee feels equal, included, and accepted for who they are.”
The Lovato/Jonas tour plays Philips Arena June 29.
North Carolina’s new law, nicknamed the “bathroom bill,” has been widely perceived as discriminatory against gay and transgender people.
But while Lovato and Jonas are opting to cancel, other acts, including Cyndi Lauper and Dolly Parton, vow to play on – and will use the stage to share their feelings.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Parton, who was promoting her upcoming “Pure & Simple” tour which launches June 3 in Greensboro, N.C. (she plays Infinite Energy Center in Duluth June 4), addressed the controversy but said emphatically that she did not intend to cancel any shows.
“Everyone knows that I have an open and generous heart, and I think all people should be treated with respect,” Parton said. “I don’t like to be caught up with controversial issues. I can address whatever my thoughts are from the stage in that format.”
Likewise, last week Lauper said in an interview that she believes, “There’s all kinds of people in the world and there’s room for all of us. I lived through the civil rights period and the women’s rights periods, even though they’re being stripped one by one. I felt we could go down to North Carolina (and) educate, teach people how to help themselves and help each other.”
Lauper performs in Raleigh June 4 and at Atlanta Symphony Hall June 5.