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18 Ways the Entertainment Industry Is Shunning Those Anti-LGBT Laws

Click through to see how people in the entertainment industry—including Nick Jonas, Bryan Adams, NSYNC members and porn sites—are standing against the recent rash of discriminatory laws

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 05: Beyonce performs onstage during the 2015 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Benjamin Fran
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

Even though Beyoncé didn't boycott North Carolina like many other artists, she posted a note on on her website on Wednesday (May 4), explaining the harmful law that blocks transgender people from using their preferred bathroom. She points to EqualityNC, an organization that is working toward overturning the law and establishing equality among everyone in the state.

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Pearl Jam

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 02: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs live for fans at the 2014 Big Day Out Festival at Arena Jo
Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

Pearl Jam canceled an April 20 show in North Carolina to protest the HB2 law, which prevents transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their identifying gender.

“The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens," the band wrote on their website.

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Laura Jane Grace

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11: Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! performs during Riot Fest Chicago 2015 at Douglas Park on Septemb
Daniel Boczarski/Redferns

Laura Jane Grace is turning Against Me!'s show in North Carolina into an event to support transgender people. She's using their May 15 show as an "act of protest" and asking activist groups to set up tables at the show.

“I’m going to create an event around the show as a form of protest to say that despite whatever stupid laws they enact, trans people are not going to be scared," she said in an interview. "They are not going to go away."

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Cyndi Lauper

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 03: Cyndi Lauper attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at The Royal Opera House on April 3, 2016
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

Instead of boycotting North Carolina for its transgender-discriminatory bathroom bill, Cyndi Lauper decided to donate all the proceeds from her show to support Equality North Carolina, which is working to repeal it.

She wrote on her website, "I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2."

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Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Julia Louis-Dreyfus" Episode 1701 -- Pictured: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato canceled their two July shows in North Carolina for their Future Now joint tour due to the unfair laws. 

"It's a tough thing and what makes it more tough is I have family in North Carolina and friends there," Jonas told E! News. "On top of the disappointment I'm sure some fans felt, I've got personal disappointment."

"Demi and I felt strongly that we had to take a firm stand and make a bold statement and it felt like the best option was to cancel the shows. We're grateful for the fans that have supported [our decision] and understand it. Hopefully, we'll see things change. It's a tough situation for everybody."

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Bruce Springsteen

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Bruce Springsteen performs with The E Street Band at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2016 in New
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Bruce Springsteen canceled his show in Greensboro, N.C., when the state passed the "bathroom bill," which also voids all local anti-discrimination ordinances across the state, which would have protected LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations, like bathrooms.

In Bruce's statement from April 8, he wrote:

"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."

Shortly after, Springsteen was called a "bully" by North Carolina congressman Mark Walker, a Republican. 

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Bryan Adams

CALGARY, ALBERTA - APRIL 03: Bryan Adams performs at the 2016 Juno Awards at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 3, 2016 in Calgar
George Pimentel/Getty Images

Byan Adams pulled out of a show in Biloxi, Miss., after the state passed a law allowing government employees, religious groups or private businesses to deny services to people based on their religious beliefs.

Here's what Adams had to say on April 10:

"I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore i’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day."

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Lionsgate Films


Lionsgate Films already pulled one production out of North Carolina after the passing of the "bathroom bill," a.k.a. House Bill 2. Crushed, a show about a family's wine business meant for Netflix, has reportedly relocated to Vancouver.

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The NBA is threatening to move the All-Star game, which is scheduled to be hosted by the Charlotte Hornets in 2017. If North Carolina doesn't repeal the bill, they might lose out on having the event, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Read the NBA's statement, given on March 24, above.

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Although the bill has since been vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal, a piece of legislation in Georgia threatened to allow businesses to deny services to people based on their religious beliefs.

When Disney heard that, they announced they'd boycott Georgia if the law was passed. That means Disney—and its subsidiary Marvel Entertainment—would not film in Georgia. Here's their statement made to Variety on March 23:

"Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law."

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AMC & Viacom

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene, Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Andrew Linc
Gene Page/AMC

Before the Georgia bill was vetoed, AMC, which makes The Walking Dead in Georgia, opposed the legislation:

“As a company, AMC Networks believes that discrimination of any kind is reprehensible. We applaud Governor Deal’s leadership in resisting a previous version of this divisive legislation and urge him to reject the current version as well.”

So did Viacom, which owns Paramount:

“Viacom is proud to champion diversity and acceptance, which are core values of our company. We have enjoyed doing business in Georgia for many years and we urge Governor Deal to continue to resist and reject the patently discriminatory laws being proposed.”

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Michael Sam

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: NFL player Michael Sam arrives at The Playboy Party during Super Bowl Weekend, which celebra
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Playboy

Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, wrote an op-ed for the Columbia Tribune on April 3, speaking out against Missouri's impending "religious freedom" bill. The bill would do the same thing as many of these other ones: it'd make it legal to deny services to same-sex couples. "Now I’m calling on everyone in Missouri, from business leaders to sports clubs," Sam wrote, "to echo that sentiment, to stand up and say: Not in our state."

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Rob Reiner

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: Rob Reiner arrives at the "Being Charlie" photo call during 2015 Toronto International Film Festi
Michael Tran/Getty Images

The film director, who's made movies like When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men and Stand By Mesaid on March 25 that he won't work in North Carolina if the law isn't repealed:

"Until this hateful law is repealed and LGBT North Carolinans are treated with the equal dignity they deserve, I will not film another production in North Carolina, and I encourage my colleagues in the entertainment industry to vow to do the same."

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Stephen Schwartz

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: Composer Stephen Schwartz attends the curtain call to celebrate the "Wicked" Broadway original cast r
Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz is refusing to allow theaters in North Carolina to produce versions of his musical. He sent an email (you can read it below, courtesy of BroadwayWorld.com) around to his Broadway colleagues, urging them to do the same.

"As you no doubt know, the state of North Carolina has recently passed a reprehensible and discriminatory law. I feel that it is very important that any state that passes such a law suffer economic and cultural consequences, partly because it is deserved and partly to discourage other states from following suit."

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Robin Roberts

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Television personality Robin Roberts attends the 2015 Health Hero Awards at The Times Center on N
Mike Pont/WireImage

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts agreed to be on the cover of a Mississippi tourism mag before the "religious liberty" law was signed. Since the legislation was signed, she has faced backlash for the cover. In a statement on April 8, Roberts spoke out against the law:

"It's always been a deeply held belief of mine that everyone, everywhere should be treated equally. I'm proud that my beloved mother and father taught me as a child growing up in Mississippi to focus on the many things we all have in common, not our few differences. And what we all deserve to have in common is the right to be treated equally."

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Lance Bass

Lance Bass arrives to the premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" during the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival at Nokia Theatre
Jordan Strauss

Mississippi's "religious freedom" law would allow people to deny LGBT people from services, housing and employment if it gets passed. NSYNC's Lance Bass, a Mississippi native, spoke out against it in a press release from Faith in America:

“This is nothing more than religious homophobia as legislation. Earlier this year, Mississippi lost Mercedes Williams, a 17-year-old trans girl murdered because she was trans. What is Mississippi’s Senate doing to protect the trans community? Instead of serving all of their constituents, Mississippi is prioritizing the sensitivities of the religious 'wrong' over the lives of LGBT people. I know Mississippi’s community is better than this. It is imperative that Governor Phil Bryant vetoes this bill immediately."

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Porn site Xhamster

close-up of a young couple kissing

Major porn site Xhamster cut off access to North Carolina after they passed the "bathroom bill."

Spokesman Mike Kulich said in a statement:

"Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not standby and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them."

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Billy Ray Cyrus

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Billy Ray Cyrus attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After Bryan Adams pulled a show out of Mississippi, Billy Ray Cyrus spoke up on Facebook. Cyrus is father to Miley, who has been public about her fluid gender.

“In light of my good friend, Bryan Adams, taking a stand and my daughter having been on the ground floor of this movement, this issue is very important to me. As a friend and dad… I’ve witnessed this fight from the very beginning. I think everyone should be treated equal. We’ve come too far; we can’t mess this up.”

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Photo of the day

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 25: Bad Bunny (L) and J Balvin attend the Buchanan's Es Nuestro Momento Celebration at Remezcla Studios

Apr 26: Pre-Show Party

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