Joining the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Mumford & Sons; Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato are the latest artists to cancel their joint-show in North Carolina in protest of the anti-LGBTI+ laws passed by the North Carolina State Congress.
You can read Demi and Nick's statement on the cancellation below:
Named HB2, the "Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act," included an inflammatory bathroom clause about which public facilities transgender people can use, as well as opening up legal discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people on the pretext of "religious grounds". You can read a little more about the details of the law here.
Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato's involvement in the boycott is notable, not least because they both have considerable LGBTI+ fan bases. In this scenario, there isn't a simple solution or an easy moral code to follow. Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought regarding boycotts such as these...
The first believe that boycotting is the most effective way of sending a strong message against the law. It grabs headlines and puts a spotlight on the issue at hand.
Secondly, it puts pressure on governments because of the knock-on effects to businesses who benefit from the entertainment industry economy. Boycotts deprive revenue from a lot of different businesses - venues, tickets agencies, events companies and promoters, food, drink, shops, hotels, transport, parking etc. - all of which are taxed, so the government misses out on tax dollars too.
The second school of thought sees things a little differently. Continuing to do the shows can help raise funds, awareness and recruits to fight the legislation, particularly if the artists in question have large audiences. This is what Cyndi Lauper said she will do when she performs in Raleigh on June 4.
Then there are the unintended victims of boycotts - sometimes the very people who artists are trying to support. Boycotts lead to job instability for people directly involved (hard to pay staff at a music venue if no bands are turning up), many of whom might not support the new law.
There is also the problem that by cancelling shows - especially artists who have large LGBTI+ followings - that you essentially shut down another safe space for LGBTI+ people to meet and be among their community, further increasing the sense of isolation from society they are already experiencing.
This issue has caused quite a debate online. What do you think?