More and more companies are paying attention to LGBTQ rights, and Netflix is no exception. The streaming giant is currently working on a coming-of-age series called OBX, set in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Aiming for authenticity, Netflix was set to shoot the series in North Carolina. Instead, Netflix is looking for a new location after concerns about North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ laws House Bill 2 and House Bill 142.
House Bill 2, which was passed in 2016, banned people from using a restroom that did not match the gender marker on their birth certificate and prohibited cities and towns from enacting their own anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ people. House Bill 2 was eventually partially repealed and replaced with House Bill 142, which loosened some of the bathroom restrictions, but kept in place the restriction on local anti-discrimination ordinances until at least 2020.
Because these discriminatory laws are still on the books, Netflix has chosen to find a new location to shoot OBX. The series is considering nearby South Carolina as one option. The production was set to spend more than $60 million in North Carolina, money that will now be diverted to the new filming location.
“This tiny law is costing this town [Wilmington, NC] 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,” show creator Jonas Pate told The Advocate.
An incoming North Carolina senator, Harper Peterson, hopes that perhaps the legislation can be addressed before Netflix makes a final decision.
Peterson told the Faye Observer, “That is a decision the legislature has to make and realize that it is one more opportunity we are losing if we don’t. We have to get back and be competitive with other states. It just hurts to see a production about North Carolina go to South Carolina.”