Joel McHale performs in North Carolina, donates proceeds to LGBTQ Center

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Last week, North Carolina passed a ridiculous “bathroom bill” that is being seen as an attack on the LGBT community in general, and transgender people in particular. It requires people to use bathrooms that align with the gender on their birth certificate, as if transgender people going to public restrooms was a huge issue that needed to be addressed right away. As states like NC pass discriminatory laws that rollback the rights of LGBT people, corporations and celebrities are threatening boycotts. We just saw Bruce Springsteen refuse to play North Carolina, specifically citing this bill, and now another celebrity has taken a slightly different stance. Comedian and actor Joel McHale honored a scheduled performance in Durham, North Carolina on Friday but he told the audience that he was conflicted about whether he should perform or not and that he was going to donate everything he made from the show to an LGBTQ organization.

Joel McHale doesn’t find North Carolina’s archaic new anti-LGBT law the least bit funny.

The comedian, who appeared at the Durham Performing Arts Center in North Carolina on Friday, told the audience that he would donate “every single dime I make tonight” to the city’s LGBTQ Center as a way of offering his support.

“There was a moment where I wasn’t going to come tonight,” McHale told the audience. “What the f-k 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-king bill. … So it was like, ‘Let’s go to that place where they support the destruction of that bill.’”

“I am going to donate every single dime I make tonight to the LGBTQ Center — every single dime,” he continued.

[From The Huffington Post]

I always liked McHale and he handled this very well. He brought awareness to it and supported an important cause. I really hope that public and corporate pressure forces North Carolina to change this archaic law. The governor of Georgia recently vetoed their backwards “religious liberty” law, but North Carolina governor Pat McCrory is digging his heels in despite pledges by PayPal, Google, and several other corporate and sports interests to pull planned projects from his state. McCrory is an idiot and he’s not going to get it, but the billions of dollars in lost revenue to his state might help facilitate this law being overturned.

Here are McHale’s quotes in context. This video is NSFW due to language. At the end he said he’s donating $2.4 million but I think he’s joking about that.

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32 Responses to “Joel McHale performs in North Carolina, donates proceeds to LGBTQ Center”

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  1. lilacflowers says:

    Where does the City of Durham stand on the legislation? McHale performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center, which is owned by the city so the city gets a cut out of the take from the show. Springsteen was scheduled to perform at the Greensboro Coliseum, which is owned by the State of North Carolina and NC would have directly profited from rental fees Springsteen would have to pay to perform there.

    But good for McHale for donating, protesting, and speaking out.

    • Erinn says:

      ” I know you guys are cool because your city council passed a resolution opposing that stupid f-king bill. … So it was like, ‘Let’s go to that place where they support the destruction of that bill.’”

      So Durham has tried to strike down the bill, which played at least partially into his decision to keep the date.

      • BendyWindy says:

        Well, the way our government is set up means Durham can’t strike it down. Their resolution is basically like a minority opinion from the Supreme Court. They’re letting it be known that they disagree, even if they’re powerless to change it. I’m sure someone will sue the state and I’m sure the bill will be repealed, it’s just going to take a ton of time and a ton of money, in the meantime we’ll lose jobs and revenue and our reputation will suffer. Which really sucks.

      • lilacflowers says:

        @BendyWindy, when is your governor up for re-election?

      • BendyWindy says:

        He’s up for re-election this year. I hope this bites him in the ass. In a big way.

  2. BendyWindy says:

    I live in NC. The general assembly (state legislature) here is ridiculous. Last year, they restructured my city council, without our input. This is just the latest in a long line of oversteps from lawmakers in the Capitol. They seem really out of step with voters, at least where I live. Good for Joel.

    • Kitten says:

      I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be for you and others. I would feel so angry and powerless if this was happening in Massachusetts.

    • Alyce says:

      I live in NC too, in Chapel Hill. Everyone here is so angry. It isn’t just the bathroom thing either. That part is actual pretty minor (bc no one is standing outside bathrooms checking birth certificates). The real HUGE problem is not being able to sue if you’re discriminated against and the state not allowing local governments to raise minimum wage.

    • Sarah says:

      I think Joel McHale did the right thing because I believe there are many people like you in NC who oppose what is going on with the law there. I think artists and corporations should do something to support those people in NC who agree that the law is wrong. I also sympathize with you that your government seems to be ignoring what the majority of people want and just going ahead with the goals of vested interests (i.e. people with enough money to get them elected). Man, this feels like the ’80’s all over again 🙁

      Rock on, BendyWindy and Alyce! xx’s and oo’s from your “sister” in Canada.

  3. anniefannie says:

    love me some Joel!! Really love how he didn’t pull punches on the lunacy of it all. NC get your shit straight!!

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think this is fine, especially the donation, but I still think a boycott is more effective. This doesn’t do much. I admire his intentions, but still think it’s better not to go there at all. You can still donate money.

    • SilkyMalice says:

      I agree.

      – GNAT, with the utmost respect, you misread my post under ScarJo.

      – used to be Crumpet –

    • lucy2 says:

      I too think the boycott is more effective, these lawmakers don’t seem to likely to be swayed emotionally, but hitting the state in the wallet and getting pressure from business owners should work better and faster.
      But I still think what Joel did is great, both being vocal about it and donating the money. Anyone willing to step up in any way is a help.

  5. Jayna says:

    I’ve always had a little crush on Joel. Good for him.

  6. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Both men did the right thing for their way of protesting this bill. That being said this isn’t going to stop because of donations to LGBT groups. You have to think you’re dealing with people so hateful and ignorant that they invent a problem that has NEVER happened and rush to pass a bill at MIDNIGHT all in an effort to legislate their transphobic discriminatory world view.

    This is going to end when little by little all the enjoyment they had planned dries up. When even the most conservative supporter of theirs wants the damn law repealed because he or she has lost out on multiple job opportunities from companies refusing to do business in the state.

    Again, I’m not saying McHale was wrong and I do love what he did and how he did it. Just that I feel like the only way to take this law down is for the state to literally be bleeding money. The ultra-religious wing of the party can only hold so strong against its pro-business wing and money always wins out to their morals.

  7. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    On a different note whenever ridiculous things like this happen I can’t help but fantasize what it would be like if en masse every individual considered a threat or pervert by this law suddenly said, “Ok.” and packed up and left overnight.

    How the economy would crater and the irony of the Republican Party getting exactly what it wants and how they wouldn’t even be able to function for long from the lack of consumer spending.

  8. Donna Martin says:

    I think taking their money and using it for a great cause is also effective. Prob made them mad though

    • Memurs says:

      To be fair, the Durham/Chapel Hill area is one of the more liberal/progressive areas of the state and Joel McHale doesn’t strike me as someone who would attract a ton of bigots as fans (though I could be wrong). I’m going to guess that the majority of those who paid to see him have no qualms with their money supporting LGBTQ causes.

  9. Kitten says:

    McHale’s such a good dude.

  10. bleu_moon says:

    While I applaud McHale’s good intentions, I live in NC and ask that you PLEASE BOYCOTT our state. McCrory passed this bill as a desperate attempt to be reelected. He’s probably (hopefully!) going to lose to Roy Cooper (D) and felt a need to cozy up to the extreme right. They rammed this bill thru so fast we didn’t have a chance to protest. The level of fear McCrory and his buddies have stirred up here is insane. Many people truly believe all transgendered women are rapists, although few of them have a very clear understanding of what “transgendered” means. It’s also a reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality which overturned NC’s ban on same sex marriage. In addition, they tacked on a provision to prevent a “living wage” law and fixed minimum wage in NC at $7.25/hr. It’s really a grab bag bill of nastiness. The only way this will be repealed is if it makes a huge financial impact on our state. Do not visit or do business with NC and please contact our governor’s office to tell them why.

    And please believe me that not everyone in NC is a horrid bigot! Really, there are some wonderful places and people in NC. We used to be considered one of the more “progressive” southern states and hopefully will be again.

    • Monie says:

      Totally agree. My entire family pretty much lives in the Charlotte area and I was born and raised there (live in NV now). I shake my head in shame and disgust at what my state has become. I hope the progressives can regain their foothold this year.

    • greenleaf says:

      @bleu_moon, I don’t know what has happened to NC. We were run by Democrats (Southern ones, but still) for decades and voted for Obama in 2008. I really just can’t accept that the majority of North Carolinians are bigots. We’re making South Carolina look tolerant and progressive.

    • lawyergal says:

      Another NC resident – PLEASE BOYCOTT OUR STATE! There still exist incredibly vocal morons here who will never change their minds, and the only way to clean up this mess is to take money directly out of the state’s pockets.

      • DH says:

        I disagree with the comments about ‘please boycott our state’. Calling for the financial downfall of our state is a terrible thing to wish upon your neighbors who own local business- performers boycotting, calling for vacationers to go elsewhere- Bruce doesn’t play so how many gas stations lose business, local restaurants miss out on late night patrons.. How does this help the state?? How does this change anything?? Changing this decision–changing the law wont come overnight and must come from the PEOPLE OF NC. It has to be petitioned, elected officials must be changed– this takes time. In the meantime local business should not be condemned, our beaches and mountains should not be boycotted.. Change sometimes takes times, things like this can be used for the good of people- to open conversation, to change minds- to re-elect and vote again. Gay marriage was not immediately recognized but the conversation opened- minds were changed- officials were elected- and in 2014 it was. I agree with the way Joel handled it and think its far more beneficial than boycotting the state.

      • bleu_moon says:

        @DH_ Unfortunately a lot of cisgendered and straight people do not consider this “their issue.” I’m a straight cisgendered married mom (don’t mock the minivan!)- as are nearly all of my friends. Most of them just shrugged when HB2 passed because it doesn’t impact them. They won’t get involved until they are directly effected by the fallout. If the NC state government can call a special session of the legislature to pass this bill quickly, they can certainly call a special session to repeal it when they start getting complaints from business owners.

  11. ItDoesntReallyMatter says:

    I love him. That is all.

  12. lilacflowers says:

    Waiting for the son of a government official to get arrested for hanging out drunk in a ladies room in some dive bar. Simply because many drunken 20-something dudes seem to think it is really cool to hang in the ladies rooms in dive bars.

  13. Donna says:

    Not that I disagree with Bruce Springsteen, but Joel McHale’s way of addressing the stupidity/prejudice/ignorance of the bill seems better. He took a positive stand while honouring his contract and not letting down fans who had nothing to do with the decision of keeping that bill.

  14. Ncboudicca says:

    I live in NC and do NOT support HB2. I will not diss any artist who boycotts, nor will I diss artists who uphold commitments made long ago but say they will make no future stops here if this discrimination stay in effect, nor will I diss artists who choose to play here and donate their part of the proceeds to a LGBTQ organization. All types of protest are welcome, in my opinion. It Takes many different ways to reach many different people.