Unlike the main character in their highly successful "Bird Box" film, Netflix is not blindfolding themselves from issues in society. Recently the streaming giant pulled production from North Carolina because of that state's lingering essence of anti-LGBT House Bill 2.
The bill barred trans folks from using the restroom of their identified gender. It also barred municipalities from mandating anti-discrimination laws, reports The Advocate.
Granted, some transphobic parts of HB 2 were repealed in 2017 in the less restrictive HB 142, but there is still verbiage contained in HB 142 which won't allow cities and counties to decide for themselves how they want to address the bathroom issue. Instead, state legislature has been given the final word. Advocates believe this loophole which expires in 2020, could lead to other anti-LGBT laws statewide.
The original series OBX was set to film in the state; it contains creator Jonas Pate's hometown of Wilmington. But due to the unpredictability of HB 2, production is being moved, perhaps to South Carolina instead.
“This tiny law is costing this town [Wilmington] 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.
The production budget is $60 million, money that could have been spent in North Carolina. Pate is hoping that the state will repeal the clause way before its 2020 expiration date and his series can film where the story actually takes place.
“We have a tiny window where this could be pulled out of the fire,” Pate 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.”
Pate may get his wish if newly appointed North Carolina Sen. Harper Peterson (D) is able to make an influential argument at the General Assembly’s session this week.
“That is a decision the legislature has to make and realize that it is one more opportunity we are losing if we don’t,” Peterson told the Star News. “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.”