Netflix has opted out of filming its original series “OBX” in North Carolina due to the state’s law requiring people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Netflix has decided, instead, to film “OBX” in South Carolina, despite the series being set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The bill is known as House Bill 2, or “the bathroom bill” and was enacted in 2016.
“Despite the fact that North Carolina repealed a section of the law in 2017 following a year of backlash, it didn’t completely overturn HB2,” reported The Hollywood Reporter. “One problematic piece of the replacement bill, per insiders, is a clause that forbids municipalities from enacting non-discrimination ordinances for any group not included in state law — including LGBTQ people — until 2020.”
The show’s creator, Jonas Pate, grew up in North Carolina and currently lives in Wilmington. Pate is the one who pushed Netflix to shoot in his home state initially.
“This tiny law is costing this town 70 good, clean, pension-paying jobs and also sending a message to those people who can bring these jobs and more that North Carolina still doesn’t get it,” Pate said, according to The Fayetteville Observer.
The production of the project will cost around $60 million, a large portion of which would be spent in the state, according to Pate.
Pate said he would like for state lawmakers to push to repeal the bill, in order to keep the show based in North Carolina.
“We have a tiny window where this could be pulled out of the fire,” he said. “If I get any sense that there is any effort to move the sunset date up, I think I could convince Netflix to change course.”
Incoming state senator Harper Peterson, a Democrat, said he is aware of the situation and would like to see it brought before the North Carolina General Assembly session after it begins on Wednesday, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
“That is a decision the legislature has to make and realize that it is one more opportunity we are losing if we don’t,” he said. “There is no rational reason to delay if it is already going to sunset.”
“We have to get back and be competitive with other states,” he continued. “It just hurts to see a production about North Carolina go to South Carolina.”
Peterson and Pate’s fear is a very real one for North Carolina, considering that “OBX” won’t be the first film that has boycotted North Carolina due to its bathroom bill.
Shortly after the bill was passed, Lionsgate moved the production of their comedy “Crushed” to Canada from North Carolina, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lionsgate issued a statement protesting the passage of the bill as “deplorable and discriminatory,” before adding the bathroom bill was anti-LGBT law and runs “counter to everything we stand for.”
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin tweeted his appreciation for Netflix’s decision about “OBX.”
“Good on @netflix for taking seriously the impact of this disgraceful law on their LGBTQ talent & employees. It’s been nearly 3 years since NC passed #HB2, and it’s long past time for this hateful bill to be fully repealed.”
Good on @netflix for taking seriously the impact of this disgraceful law on their LGBTQ talent & employees. It’s been nearly 3 years since NC passed #HB2, and it’s long past time for this hateful bill to be fully repealed.https://t.co/6Ix9iDopQJ
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 10, 2019
This decision came on the heels of Netflix’s earlier controversial move to accommodate Saudi Arabia’s request to pull a comedy show on their Saudi streaming platform that was unflattering to the country’s royalty.
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