April 2, 2016

North Carolina hit by boycotts following major anti-LGBT law

Think Progress - Some 100 national companies have signed onto a letter first distributed earlier this week decrying the [North Carolina anti-LGBT] law. They join the several businesses that had already spoken out against it in the days immediately after it passed. Wells Fargo added to the symbolic stand by lighting the 48-story Duke Energy Center in pink, white, and blue to celebrate International Day of Transgender Visibility.

Likewise, several cities and states and have banned all government-funded travel to the state of North Carolina. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) added D.C. to a growing list, which includes San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, and Portland, as well as the states of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Washington.

These largely symbolic actions are increasingly being buttressed by measurable economic consequences. Braeburn Pharmaceuticals was planning to build a $20 million manufacturing and research facility in Durham County, but it announced this week that it is “reevaluating our options based on the recent, unjust legislation.”

Lionsgate Entertainment said that it would continue production of its made-for-TV Dirty Dancing remake in North Carolina, but would reconsider filming future projects in the state. “We will be hard pressed to continue our relationship with North Carolina if this regressive law remains on the books,” the company said in a statement. Already, it abandoned lining up rentals and hiring for a comedy pilot, choosing instead to shoot it in Canada.

Theatre composer Stephen Schwartz is also encouraging members of the theatre community to boycott the state because of its “reprehensible and discriminatory law.” He announced this week that he and his collaborators “are acting to deny the right to any theatre or organization based in North Carolina to produce any of our shows. We have informed our licensing organizations and touring producers of this, and I’m happy to say have met with compliance and approval from them.” This means that no theatre in North Carolina will be able to legally produce Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, or Children of Eden so long as the law is on the books.

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