Comedian Joel McHale had something important to say when he stepped out on stage at the Durham Performing Arts Center in North Carolina on Friday night: "What the f**k is wrong with your government here, guys?"
The Community star, who was wearing a t-shirt decorated with duct-taped letters reading "LGBTQ Durham," was referring to North Carolina's recent passage of the controversial House Bill 2, also known as the "bathroom law." The legislation bans transgender people from using public restrooms in accordance with their gender identity in favor of their biological sex; many also believe the law has implications for LGBTQ people in the workplace.
In a video posted of the speech, McHale admits that he considered cancelling his appearance, but after noting that Durham's city council opposed the bill, he decided against it. Instead, the 44-year-old pledged to "donate every single dime I make tonight" to the LGBTQ Center of Durham.¬†
"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," the former The Soup star's reps told People. "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 LGBTQ Center of Durham shared its happiness at the support on Facebook. "Whoa! We are beyond honored that Joel McHale is donating the proceeds of his show last night at DPAC in protest against HB2," it wrote.
#wearenotthis I encourage you to share my post on #joelmchale donating his entire paycheck from the #DPAC gig to the #LGBTQ Center of Durham. I saw him get handed his check, he said "this will all be donated". I also encourage you to share because McHales choice to make a statement rather than cancel allowed me and my coworkers to make the income we depend on. Hatred spawns messy and twisted confusion. Please, spread love and help put out the hate fire. (He cut those tshirt letters out of duct tape.) #hb2
McHale joins a long list of big names -- celebrities and businesses -- that have condemned the North Carolina bill and others like it in Mississippi and Georgia. Bruce Springsteen previously canceled his North Carolina concert and others who have spoken out include Ellen DeGeneres, Disney and Marvel, and the NFL.