Joel McHale is not okay with North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, which was signed into legislation on March 23. Entertainment Weekly reports that the Community actor is protesting, and while performing a comedy show at the Durham Performing Arts Center last Friday, McHale told the audience he would be donating the money made at that event to the LGBTQ Center of Durham.
“There was a moment where I wasn’t going to come tonight,” McHale told the audience. “What the f*** is wrong with your government? It’s crazy! I know you guys are cool because your city council passed a resolution opposing that stupid f*****g bill…. So it was like, ‘Let’s go to that place where they support the destruction of that bill.'”
The North Carolina HB2 law (Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act) restricts LGBT protections, forcing transgender people to use the bathroom that is assigned to the gender they were born with as opposed to the gender that they now identify as. On top of that, anyone in the LGBT community will no longer be able to sue when they experience discrimination in the workplace. This was enough to set Joel McHale off, with a host of other LGBT supporters, such as Bruce Springsteen.
The argument being made for the HB2 law claims that it protects women, by preventing predators (men) from dressing up as a woman just to get into the ladies bathrooms and assault them. Though, there does not seem to be a substantial amount of evidence to support the claim that men actually disguise themselves as women just to gain access to the women’s bathrooms. Many have stated what should be an obvious fact, that those who are sexual predators aren’t going out of their way to obey laws/rules – like not going into the women’s bathroom. Even if the law did not exist, men could still dress up as a woman in order to get into their bathrooms, which isn’t even that common of an occurrence.
Many believe that this is simply a law put in place to discriminate against transgender people.
“I am going to donate every single dime I make tonight to the LGBTQ Center — every single dime,” Joel McHale continued as he stood on stage, wearing a T-shirt with “LGBT” formed by duct tape on the front.
There have been a number of other politicians, as well as celebrities, who have spoken out in protest of this law. Paypal was working on expanding their company to Charlotte, North Carolina, and building a global operations center that would’ve had 400 employees. But due to the recent HB2 law, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman decided against it, stating that the law does not represent at all what the company is about and stands for. In fact, a number of business leaders from all over the United States joined together in signing a letter to get the law repealed.
Huffington Post reported that the heads of companies like Marriott, Pfizer, Levi Strauss, Bank of America, Apple, Airbnb, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for a repeal of the North Carolina law.
Last night went see @joelmchale at @dpacnc Great show! ???? Joel entered the stage wearing an LGBTQ DURHAM t-shirt and as an opener, expressed his opposition to HB2. Even said he considered not doing the show because of it. Glad he did though! Sad that North Carolina has become so popular lately for something like this. So, how opposed is Joel to #HB2? He offered to donate all the money from last night's show to @lgbtqdurham Pretty cool. ???? ???????? ???? ???????? ???? ???????? ????????????????????????????????????????#durhamperformingartscenter #dpac #joelmchale #lgbtq #lgbtqdurham #notoriousDURM #durham #northcarolina #downtowndurham #outaboutnc #wraloutandabout #919 @wral #ToSeeInDurham #ToDoInDurham #ToDoInNC #ToSeeInNC #durhamnc @indyweek @newsobserver @cityofdurhamnc #ncpolitics #durm @durhammag @downtowndurham #donation
“Joel is vehemently opposed to HB2 and knows there are many in Durham (which recently passed a measure condemning the law) that share the feeling,” Joel McHale’s rep said in a statement to PEOPLE. “He felt this was a good way to raise awareness and much needed funds for a local center that is on the front line of this important cause.”
Helena Cragg, the board chair for the LGBTQ Center of Durham, released a statement regarding Joel McHale’s donation and was extremely appreciative.
[Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]