A Republican congressman from North Carolina criticized Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert there because of the state’s new anti-trans law in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
“Bruce is known to be on the radical left,” Rep. Mark Walker said. “He’s got every right to be so, but I consider this a bully tactic. It’s like when a kid gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home.”
Springsteen canceled his Sunday concert in Greensboro to protest HB2, which rolls back an anti-discrimination statute instituted in Charlotte, and also bans trans residents from using restrooms according to their gender identities.
The singer called the law “an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.” But Walker defended the bill, saying that it targeted “impostors” and not the LGBT communities.
“I would just like to intellectually explain to Bruce Springsteen the safety aspect of this bill, which is about four pages long,” the legislator said. “Sometimes people only hear one side of the story.”
He also downplayed the impact of Springsteen’s cancellation, pointing out that Def Leppard and Justin Bieber will both be playing in Greensboro later this year.
“I’ve never been a Bieber fan, but I might have to go,” he said. “Maybe artists who weren’t ‘born to run’ deserve a little bit more support.”
The law has drawn criticism on several fronts: Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) has refused to defend it; PayPal cancelled plans to open a facility in Charlotte which would have created 400 jobs; and the online “Peeing for Pat” campaign is encouraging people to contact Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) office to register their “compliance” with the law whenever they use the bathroom.