Violinist Itzhak Perlman on Wednesday
discussed the reasons behind his decision to cancel an appearance in
Perlman was scheduled to perform
Wednesday with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh. On Tuesday,
he announced that he was canceling his appearance to protest a
controversial North Carolina law that blocks cities from enacting
LGBT protections and prohibits transgender people from using the
bathroom of their choice in government buildings, including schools.
Perlman called the law “ugly and
hostile” in an interview with NPR.
“The law is ugly and hostile, as far
as I'm concerned,” he said.
Perlman explained that he was forced to
cancel after the orchestra, which receives funding from the state,
declined his request to include a statement explaining his position
in the program.
“After that exchange, I thought, 'I
am going into a hostile situation,'” he said. “And that's when I
said, 'As much as I hate to cause problems and stress, I have to have
a stand. I'm canceling.'”
“I feel that [the law] is
discriminatory – and it's not just about bathrooms. It's about
dignity, like [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch said. I've been an
advocate for equality for the disabled, and this is just another
situation in which this is the subject. We are dealing with the
equality and dignity of citizens,” he added. (A brush with polio
as a child left Perlman on crutches.)
Perlman apologized to members of the
orchestra, whom he said were “caught in the middle of this ugly