The creative community continues to take a stand against anti-LGBT legislation: First Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, banned productions of his shows in Mississippi and North Carolina because of anti-LGBT laws there.
Now the rights-holders for West Side Story and Footloose have followed suit, withdrawing permission for their musicals to be performed in those states.
“In light of the recent passage in your states of heinous and discriminatory laws that severely curtails the rights of many minorities, the creators of Footloose are suspending the issuance of any license to present or produce their work until such time as the legislature and governor reverse their decision,” The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, who owns the rights to Footloose, said in a statement.
“The authors of Footloose hope for the quick repeal of these bills (HB 2 in North Carolina; Religious Freedom Bill 01:42 in Mississippi), at which time you will be able to request perusal materials and license the show.”
Last week Cirque du Soleil canceled engagements in Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh because of North Carolina’s religious freedom law.
“Cirque du Soleil believes in equality for all. It is a principle that guides us with both our employees and our customers,” the group said. “We behave as change agents to reach our ultimate goal of making a better world with our actions and our productions.”
Earlier in the week, representatives for Blue Man Group said they, too, would be boycotting North Carolina because of HB2.
At the heart of every Blue Man Group performance is a joyful celebration of all human kind including our commonalities and our differences. We value every individual’s right to live a dignified, vibrant life in full color. As such, we are joining the growing list of entertainment professionals in protest of North Carolina’s HB2 law by canceling our upcoming tour performances in Charlotte.
We regret any disappointment this may cause our fans, but look forward to performing for you in the future.
Pretty soon all that’s going to be left is Chuck E. Cheese’s.