Dolly Parton announced today that she will not be canceling the kickoff of her 2016 tour in Greensboro, N.C., because she doesn't "like to get caught up in controversial issues."
"I have no plans to cancel the show," Parton told reporters on a conference call when they asked her about North Carolina's anti-LGBT House Bill 2. "I believe that everybody ought to be treated with respect, but I feel we will serve better from the stage. I don't like to get caught up in controversial issues. I will address whatever I need to from the stage."
HB 2 bans local governments from including sexual orientation and gender identity in their antidiscrimination ordinances. The law also specifically targets transgender people by requring them to use public bathroom and locker room facilities that don't match their gender identity, when these facilities are located in government buildings.
On Monday Time Warner Cable News reported that HB 2 has cost North Carolina 1,750 jobs and more than "$77 million-worth of investments and visitor spending." House Democrats filed a bill to repeal HB 2 on the same day.
Artists who have canceled shows in North Carolina in protest of HB 2 include Bruce Springsteen,Ringo Starr,Boston,Nick Jonas, and Demi Lovato. Some, such as Cyndi Lauper,Duran Duran,Mumford and Sons, and comedian Joel McHale, have taken a different approach, going on with their performances while speaking out against the law and/or donating proceeds to charity.
At least 160 businesses have voiced opposition to the law, and Deutsche Bank and PayPal both canceled expansion plans in the state. And at least nine cities and four states have banned government-funded employee travel to North Carolina.