Stephen Colbert Takes On North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Bill [Video]

Stephen Colbert used his late-night TV show’s platform to hilariously say his satirical piece about the new North Carolina anti-LGBT bill, officially known as HB2 and nicknamed “the bathroom bill.” Colbert used his April 19 opening monologue to discuss the massive number of performing artists and corporations that have decided to boycott the state in response to the passing of one of the most intrusive, discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in the United States, reports Daily Kos.

During the cold open of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert began his monologue by discussing recent concert cancellations in North Carolina, with the band Pearl Jam being the latest artists to cancel a show in the state. Bruce Springsteen also cancelled his planned concert, and they aren’t alone. In addition to the musical talent leaving North Carolina high and dry, Stephen Colbert went on to describe the corporations that no longer want to have anything to do with the state due to its sweeping and discriminatory new anti-LGBT legislation.

Stewart and Colbert rally
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

As Colbert describes, PayPal has thrown in the towel on plans to build a new operation hub in the state to protect their employees from being discriminated against by HB2. Even xHamster, a porn site, is blocking North Carolina residents from access.

“Now where are North Carolina hamsters going to go for their porn?”

Despite all of the boycotts, though, during his dryly recited speech, Stephen Colbert says that while he respects those artists, he doesn’t believe it’s his job to deny the world (or even North Carolina) his talent. He wants to use the “magic of television” to “bridge our differences.” You know, just like Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln did after the Civil War.

It was at this point in the monologue that Stephen Colbert was joined by Lee and Lincoln themselves. The pair engage in a hearty handshake in a show of solidarity despite their differences. Then they engage in a little bit more as Stephen Colbert wraps up his commitment to keep his fans satisfied, regardless of the laws of North Carolina. Check it out.

With a very passionate president and general making out behind him, Stephen Colbert continues to extrapolate on his promise to stay on the air and not boycott North Carolina even in the face of one of the most discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in existence in the 2016 United States of America.

“That’s why I will never withhold this show from anyone.”

Well played, Stephen. Well played.

The response to Stephen Colbert’s piece about the social injustice taking place in North Carolina was largely positive on social media, but as always, there are a few dissenters.


Later in the episode, Stephen Colbert interviews Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Esquire reports. During that interview, Colbert asks Ryan about whether or not he’d accept the GOP presidential nomination in the event of a brokered Republican National Convention.

Ryan told Stephen Colbert that he unequivocally will not accept the GOP nomination for POTUS if the primaries fail to produce an undisputed nominee by way of the delegate count. Colbert responds with a quip.

“Like a no no? Or one of those no, I don’t want to be speaker of the House, but I’ll accept it if you just give it to me no’s?”


By the time Stephen Colbert had fully hashed it out with Ryan, it seemed a certainty that the Speaker of the House wouldn’t be trying to move into the White House next year. He even went so far as to say that the nomination should go to someone who’d campaigned for it.

The HB2-related cold-open and interview with Paul Ryan seemed to illustrate a new direction for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which is under the new management of Chris Licht. It’s been since Licht took over management that Stephen Colbert has been opening the show with pre-recorded videos, and critics believe that Tuesdays “hit the perfect tone – a balance between Stephen Colbert’s goofball comedy and his more somber moments of analyzing issues and injustice.”

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]