Tracy Morgan, Pearl Jam, and More Boycott Mississippi and North Carolina Due to “Religious Freedom” Laws


For weeks now politicians and musicians have been boycotting the states of Mississippi and North Carolina because of controversial anti-LGBT laws that were passed in the name of religious rights. Last time we checked in, Bryan Adams had canceled a show in Mississippi and Bruce Springsteen had canceled a show in North Carolina. More has happened since, though.

Ringo Starr also canceled a North Carolina show, while Cyndi Lauper and Mumford & Sons have announced plans to donate all of the profits from North Carolina shows to LGBT organizations in NC. Tacocat also recently announced that they’d be donating money to a North Carolina charity following their show in Durham. Three other big name acts have answered the activist call: Tracy Morgan, Duran Duran, and Pearl Jam.

This weekend Duran Duran chose not to boycott their North Carolina show, and took the stage in Charlotte with petitions in hand, offering them to the more than 7,000 attendees at the show.

Meanwhile, Tracy Morgan is one of the few performers to cancel a show in Mississippi. It was announced today that he’d canceled an April 29 show on his Picking Up the Pieces tour, which was meant to take place in Robinsonville. A press release stated that “he very much looks forward to rescheduling his tour dates in the area after the ‘Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act’ is either repealed or heavily amended.” (You’ll recall that in 2011 Morgan came under fire for making not-great remarks about what he’d do if his son were gay.)

Pearl Jam announced a boycott of the state of North Carolina, and singer Eddie Vedder expounded on that decision at a concert last night while in Hampton, Virginia. The gist of Vedder’s speech is that he thinks nothing beats the power of the boycott — not even the massive amount of money he could have generated for charities if they had played a show and donated the profits. “We thought we could take the money and give it to them and still play the show, but the reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting and putting a strain,” he said.

As these laws continue to be in effect, chances are more boycotts are going to take place, and more statements are going to be made. Regardless of which tactic is “correct,” any kind of effort is better than none, and it seems that, at some point, the politicians in these states are going to have to cave.