Cirque du Soleil cancels North Carolina shows over anti-LGBT law

This undated image released by The Publicity Office shows a scene from the Cirque du Soleil production, “TORUK – The First Flight.” . Errisson Lawrence/The Publicity Office via AP

NEW YORK – The Montreal-based circus company Cirque du Soleil is cancelling upcoming stops in North Carolina by two of its touring shows to protest a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

The company said Friday that it will scrap plans for “Ovo” to play Greensboro from April 20-24 and Charlotte from July 6-10, and “Toruk – The First Flight,” which was scheduled to play Raleigh from June 22-26.

READ MORE: North Carolina governor wants to change, but not scrap anti-LGBT law

The company said in a statement that it “strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form.”

Other artists who have recently cancelled North Carolina appearances include Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Ani DiFranco. Cyndi Lauper and Louis C.K. have pledged to donate profits from their shows to Equality North Carolina.

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British rock group Mumford and Sons also announced it would donate profits from its Thursday night concert in Charlotte, N.C., to a local LGBTQ support group.

“As a band that relishes welcoming everyone to our shows and promoting tolerance, we do want to take a stand with the people of North Carolina who this week are shouting loudly against intolerance, fear and discrimination,” the band said its Facebook page.

“Over the years we’ve looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we’re now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice. We will be donating all of our profits from this show to this new fund. And we will start by making a donation from it to a local LGBTQ organization.”

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