The composer of the hit show, ‘Wicked’, said he will deny theatres in North Carolina the right to produce any of his musicals until a law allowing discrimination against LGBT people is repealed.
Stephen Schwartz, who penned the gay-loved songs for the Wizard of Oz prequel, emailed other theatre writers and producers to follow suit.
In an email to his theatrical peers he said: “To my fellow theatre writers and producers: As you no doubt know, the state of North Carolina has recently passed a reprehensible and discriminatory law. I feel that it is very important that any state that passes such a law suffer economic and cultural consequences, partly because it is deserved and partly to discourage other states from following suit.
“Therefore, I and my collaborators are acting to deny the right to any theatre or organisation based in North Carolina to produce any of our shows. We have informed our licensing organisations and touring producers of this, and I’m happy to say have met with compliance and approval from them.
“In the 1970s, I, along with many other writers and artists, participated in a similar action against apartheid in South Africa, and as you know, this eventually proved to be very effective.
“If you are in agreement, you may want to join me in refusing to license our properties to, or permit productions of our work by, theaters and organisations in North Carolina until this heinous legislation is repealed.
Schwartz joins dozens of corporations seeking to sanction the state for discriminating against LGBT people, with more than 120 “major” CEOs, including mega-billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Kellogg’s John Bryant, signing a letter opposing the law that was delivered to the governor by the Human Rights Campaign. The companies include Google, Microsoft, Barnes & Noble, Levi & Straus, Twitter, Starbucks, and Wells Fargo.
Meanwhile the Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s law makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing.
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