Joel McHale Says He'll Protest North Carolina Religious Freedom Law With Major Donation


Comedian Joel McHale, best known for his work hosting E!'s The Soup, joined a growing chorus of celebrity, corporate and political critics of North Carolina's newly enacted "religious freedom" law this weekend, reported People.

McHale told an audience at the Durham Performing Arts Center "every single dime" made from his show there would go to the LGBTQ Center of Durham in response to the "fucking crazy" law, according to the magazine. A representative told People, "Joel is vehemently opposed to HB2 and knows there are many in Durham (which recently passed a measure condemning the law) that share the feeling. He felt this was a good way to raise awareness and much needed funds for a local center that is on the front line of this important cause."

The law, passed in March, effectively preempts all local and county LGBT protection ordinances throughout North Carolina. Other provisions ban trans people from using bathrooms of the gender they identify with. HB 2 also strips state workers of the right to sue under state non-discrimination laws, forcing them to instead sue in the more complicated federal court system.

Its passage has spurred widespread corporate boycotts. In early April, online payment giant PayPal said it would cancel plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte, costing North Carolina some 400 new jobs. Other major companies to protest the law include Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, which is reconsidering the location of a $20 million manufacturing and research facility, and production company Lionsgate, which moved a pilot shoot to Canada.