Duran Duran speaks for #Equality.
Last night, the Paper Gods Tour arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina for a show at the PNC Music Pavilion. Before the show, Duran Duran put out a public statement confirming that they would in fact play the gig as previously planned, but also spoke out against that state’s current policy regarding a recently passed law – House Bill 2 or HB2. Click the link to read more about the bill, which is known to be the Bathroom Bill, but is clearly MUCH farther reaching.
If you have not had a chance to read the band’s statement, it is listed below, from duranduran.com:
With respect to the current storm which is howling through this State, we considered cancelling our show on Saturday, but decided to go ahead, both for the sake of our fans and to support those in North Carolina who feel as strongly as we do about this issue. We see this as an opportunity to make the following statement.
Yes here it is again, just plain old-fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression, the same old kind that’s blighted the human race, in varying degrees, for all of its history. Duran Duran is opposed to bigotry and discrimination in all of its ugly forms, and so it follows that we are opposed to the basic premise of HB2. We support the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community, to have equal opportunities. We support their rights to live free, happy, fulfilled lives. If you live in this State and feel the same way, we urge you to register, so that you can vote; so that your voice can be heard. We urge you to sign this petition which will be presented at the General Assembly meeting on April 25th in North Carolina. You have the power to repeal this outdated and cruel legislation.
Sign up forms for the petition and information about HB2 and how to repeal it will be available at the show on Saturday night – so go visit the teams manning the Equality NC stalls that will be on site.
Our thanks to both Equality NC (www.equalitync.org) and NC Needs You (a new organization dedicated to connecting performers with like-minded nonprofits in the state battling against HB2) for their support and education on this issue. And, like us, please support Time Out Youth (http://www.timeoutyouth.org/), who will also be at the show and do incredible work with LGBT youth in the area.
– Simon, Nick, John & Roger
While we were already proud by their statement and their handling of the situation, the speech given last night at the show itself made both of us positively beam. You can see that below:
We believe that Duran Duran’s response to this troubling situation in North Carolina demonstrated a positive and productive way to educate the public as well as uphold their commitment to their fans, who had been excitedly anticipating this show for months. While we realize other artists had chosen to boycott the state in an attempt to create an economic impact, Duran Duran chose to use the platform they were given, potentially having a far greater impact. Instead of staying silent and passively putting out a statement, the band actively spoke out and encouraged the audience to do the same by publicly signing a petition against the act. The band also encouraged the audience to register to vote and sign the petition themselves, saying that they [the audience] have the power to make the change. That is why we feel so incredibly strongly that this was the right course.
While we have seen a great number of fans also coming out in support of the band’s actions last night, we have been dismayed with the amount of people who are adamantly against what the band did and said. We understand and respect that everyone has the right to their own opinion, first and foremost. Everyone has their own perspectives. However, what we struggle to understand are those who seem to have no empathy. The vast majority of us have at least some privilege in our lives, and at the minimum we should recognize that not everyone is that lucky. It does not take living in the same state or even in the same country to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, or to speak out against injustice. For example, neither of us live in South Africa, yet we are both appalled by the Apartheid. Additionally, neither of us are Jewish, nor did we live in Germany or even Europe at any point in our lives, and yet we are disgusted and saddened by the Holocaust. Perhaps the lack of empathy comes from a lack of awareness or exposure to the LGBTQ community, however, everyone, including those of us who support the community can benefit from educating themselves more on these issues.
We have always been proud to support Duran Duran. Times like these continually reinforce our choice to be fans, and encourages us to continue to do so.
-A & R