The Pop Culture Backlash Against North Carolina’s HB2


Have you cut on the news lately? If you have, you’ve seen the media ranting and raving over North Carolina’s HB2. If you haven’t, allow us to catch you up to speed: in March this year, the great state of North Carolina passed some new legislation that the majority of America has deemed not so great. The new legislation blocks cities and local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures that could protect the LGBTQ community.

Wait, What?

It all started with an ordinance in Charlotte that was put into place earlier this year that protected gay and transgender people and extended rights to them that would allow them to use whatever restroom they identified with. Several days later, Governor Pat McCrory and the General Assembly decided that wasn’t a great idea, and signed a law reversing the ordinance. The legislation McCrory signed actually goes further than bathrooms; it also nullifies local ordinances that would have expanded protections and anti-discriminatory measures for the LGBTQ community.

The new law, known as HB2, or the Bathroom Bill, makes it illegal for local government to expand upon state laws in the areas of workplace discrimination, public accommodations, and minimum wage standards. In terms of bathrooms, this means that transgender people who have not taken the surgical and legal steps to change genders have no legal right under the state to use the bathroom with which they identify. Well meaning conservatives claim that it’s not a violation of rights as much as a protective method for women and children, saying that men should not be allowed in restrooms with girls. No matter what side of the argument you’re one, one thing is for sure: there has been quite the backlash in terms of economics and pop culture.

Backlash in Sports

Both the NCAA and NBA are “monitoring the situation” in terms of what happens next. They’re certainly not happy with the progression of events, and they’ve made it known that if things don’t change back to how they were before, that they have every inclination to pull all scheduled games for 2017 and 2018, a major economical factor when you consider the revenue generated with these sporting events. Lastly, ESPN has gotten involved in terms of trying to decide whether or not Charlotte is a good fit for hosting the next X-games event.


Pop culture icons and entertainers have made known their disgust with North Carolina over the passing of HB2, and have responded by making sure to steer clear of the Tarheel State for tours, concerts, and any opportunity for economic enhancement. Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam are two well received iconic artists that cancelled their North Carolina show’s at the last minute in order for the opportunity to present their disgust. Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore has made arrangements to skip North Carolina in terms of his latest work. The irony of the matter is that, generally speaking, the majority of people who would have attended these shows are disgusted with the Bill as well. Many argue that in making a stand against the state, they’re hurting their fans.

How long the backlash will continue is yet to be determined, but it’s definitely a problem that will grow if something doesn’t happen to correct it.

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