Pearl Jam has joined the ranks of rock acts canceling shows in North Carolina to protest the state's controversial new HB2, aka the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act that legislates which gender rest rooms transgender people can use.
Calling it a "despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens," Pearl Jam has canceled its show Wednesday (April 20) in Raleigh. This follows similar moves by Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Against Me! and Boston, while artists such as Muse, Gregg Allman and Jimmy Buffett have played shows but spoken out against the law as well as donated to North Carolina LGBTQ groups fighting to repeal the law.
Pearl Jam's full statement reads:
"It is with deep consideration and much regret that we must cancel the Raleigh show in North Carolina on April 20th.
This will be upsetting to those who have tickets and you can be assured that we are equally frustrated by the situation.
The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.
It is for this reason that we must take a stand against prejudice, along with other artists and businesses, and join those in North Carolina who are working to oppose HB2 and repair what is currently unacceptable.
We have communicated with local groups and will be providing them with funds to help facilitate progress on this issue.
In the meantime we will be watching with hope and waiting in line for a time when we can return.
Perhaps even celebrate.
With immense gratitude for your understanding,
Eddie Vedder also delivered a speech about the show’s cancelation at Pearl Jam’s show last night (April 18th) in Hampton, Vir. Video of the speech can be seen below.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.