Stephen Schwartz, the co-composer of Tyler’s Suite (which just got its local premiere this weekend), has long been a champion for gay issues, and this weekend used his clout to hit homophobes in the pocketbook.
Following passage (and enactment) of North Carolina law HB2 — which makes it a crime for trans people to use the bathroom of their choice, as well as walking back many other rights to pursue discrimination claims — Schwartz has banned his megahit show Wicked from touring in the state. In a statement on BroadwayWorld.com. he issued the following statement:
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 organization based in North Carolina to produce any of our shows. We have informed our licensing organizations and touring producers of this, and I’m happy to say have met with compliance and approval from them.