Maroon 5, citing morality, cancels North Carolina concerts

(Associated Press)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The pop group Maroon 5 on Friday joined the list of entertainers canceling appearances in North Carolina because of its law that denies anti-discrimination protections and dictates which restrooms transgender people can use.

“This was a difficult decision for us to make as a band. We don’t want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right,” the group said on its website.

The band led by Adam Levine, who doubles as a celebrity musician-coach on NBC’s “The Voice,” won’t appear Sept. 11 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte or Sept. 12 at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in his race against Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who opposes the law, responded by email. Spokesman Ricky Diaz said hundreds of performances, including one by Beyonce, have taken place in North Carolina since the law passed in March. Maroon 5 is only hurting its fans by “hypocritically targeting North Carolina for selective outrage,” noting that the group has not canceled a concert in Russia.

Beyonce did perform at N.C. State University in Raleigh, but only after she promoted the efforts of those trying to get the law reversed. She posted an image of herself wearing Equality NC’s “Y’all Means All” T-shirt and posted a statement supporting equality and encouraging donations to the group. “We think it is important for us to bring attention to those who are committed to being good and carrying on the message of equality in this core of controversy,” her statement read.

Other major performers pulling out of North Carolina include Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Pearl Jam, Itzhak Perlman and Ringo Starr. Other performers, including Cyndi Lauper and the comedian Louis C.K., said they would donate proceeds from their shows to groups fighting the law known as HB2. The NBA also could move the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte.

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Martha Waggoner can be reached at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/martha-waggoner

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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