In response to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom connected to the sex on their birth certificate, musicians, businesses and cities outside the state are boycotting. For best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson, one notable boycotter is Washington state-based writer Sherman Alexie.
Alexie had been scheduled to appear at Malaprops Bookstore/Café in Asheville, North Carolina. After HB 2 became law, he canceled his event in protest. Additionally, a boycott agreement against North Carolina has been signed by more than 250 children’s book writers and illustrators. In this edition of “Writer To Reader,” Jackson takes a look at what the boycott means for an industry that she holds dear, independent bookstores.
Jackson acknowledges that Alexie is a huge supporter of the industry. “No one who knows about this can doubt that Sherman Alexie has a big heart for independent bookstores.” At the same time, Jackson “can’t see how a boycott that includes Malaprops does anything to help equality or fairness.”
Malaprops has since written an open letter to all writers explaining how much this boycott has affected them. Jackson is planning to attend the bookstore’s May 18 “Kill The Bill” fundraiser.
“It will both help Malaprops replace the income they’re losing from the canceled events, but it’s also going to raise money for the very organizations who are working hard to get HB 2 repealed.”
A compromise Jackson can live with.
Correction: In the audio version of this story, Joshilyn Jackson references two films that were shot in Georgia: “the latest Avengers” film and “Guardians of The Galaxy.” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” were actually filmed in the United Kingdom. Instead, Joshilyn meant to say “Captain America: Civil War” was filmed in Georgia and “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” is currently being filmed in the state.