Yesterday we reported that Pearl Jam was joining other musical acts and boycotting North Carolina, canceling a planned show in Raleigh. Last night, in Hampton, Virginia, Eddie Vedder spoke out about the boycott, calling North Carolina’s “despicable” anti-LGBT law “a big mistake”.
Vedder also dedicated the group’s song “I Am a Patriot” to “all the soldiers in the LGBT community.”
When Vedder initially told the crowd about the cancellation there were some boos in the audience, so he went on and explained:
“Because they’ve got a law there that broadly discriminates against a whole group of people. I can’t tell from here if you’re booing North Carolina, if you’re booing us for having to decide that we’re not going to play there, I can understand that too.”
“It was a hard process because we thought we could still play and make things right, that we could fortify all the people on the ground working to repeal this despicable law. We thought we could take the money and give it to them and still play the show. But the reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting…but it could be the way that ultimately is going to effect change. So again we just couldn’t find it in ourselves in good conscience to cross a picket line.
“So we apologize to those who were going to Raleigh, we apologize to the locals who probably believe in the same things that we do. They have a reason to be pissed. but we’re pissed off too. But we need to be pissed off at the right people and get them to change their minds because they made a mistake. A big mistake.
“So tonight we play this one for all the soldiers in the LGBT community.”
The band then launched into their track, “I Am a Patriot”.