North Carolina’s discriminatory legislation, House Bill 2, still seems to be losing the state projects from major corporations. The latest example of this appears to be Netflix and production of a new show that’s supposed to be based in the Tar Heel State.
House Bill 2, colloquially known as the “bathroom bill,” was passed in 2016 and saw a wide backlash that lost the state a number of major projects and companies committing to the state. Perhaps most famously, the NBA decided to move its All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans in 2017 in response to HB2.
Part of the bill was changed as a result of that, and the NBA decided to award the All-Star game to the Hornets later this winter, but not every company was satisfied by changes to the laws. That includes Netflix, which won’t film ‘OBX,’ a show set to take place in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, in North Carolina.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will film OBX
Despite the fact that North Carolina repealed a section of the law in 2017 following a year of backlash, it didn’t completely overturn HB2. One problematic piece of the replacement bill, per insiders, is a clause that forbids municipalities from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances for any group not included in state law — including LGBTQ people — until 2020.
THR notes that the bill isn’t the only reason Netflix choose South Carolina over its neighbors to the north, but its sources say it’s a significant factor. And a spokesperson for the state’s film office wouldn’t speak about the specifics of the show but a source told the Reporter it was a “key factor.”
Show creator Jonas Pate, who grew up in North Carolina and moved back to Wilmington last year, had been pushing Netflix to shoot in his home state. “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 told local newspaper The Fayetteville Observer, which broke the news. According to the site, Netflix is projected to spend roughly $60 million on the 10-episode series, which follows a group of four teenagers as a hurricane cuts all power and communication to the Outer Banks islands. OBX is expected to start filming this Spring.
Netflix deciding not to film in North Carolina, despite a showrunner wanting them to do so, seems to set a precedent here that would last until North Carolina’s laws change again.