Netflix ‘moves $60m show OBX from North Carolina over anti-LGBT law’

Netflix, which is making OBX, sent floats to the Los Angeles Pride Parade on June 10, 2018 in West Hollywood, California

Netflix has reportedly moved production of its new drama OBX from North Carolina, partly because of the state’s anti-LGBT law.

The coming-of-age drama about a fictional town on North Carolina’s Outer Banks islands is set to be filmed in South Carolina instead, according to local newspaper StarNews Online.

The show’s creator, North Carolina native Jonas Pate, told the publication on January 7 that a key sticking point for Netflix was the remnants of the HB2 legislation.

The HB2 bill, which passed in 2016, forced people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate as well as rolling back local ordinances passed to protect LGBT+ people and eliminating anti-discrimination protections in the state.

HB2 was partially repealed in 2017 by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, but the new HB142 law blocked local authorities from passing any anti-LGBT-discrimination laws until December 2020.

US District Judge Thomas Schroeder ruled in October that North Carolina’s law cannot be used to deny transgender people entry to public restrooms.

Lawmakers urged to change law and get Netflix show OBX back

Pate called on lawmakers to get rid of this time limit in order to convince Netflix to change its mind about production in Wilmington, North Carolina. According to him, the production was projected to bring $60 million to the 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,” said Pate.

He added that time was scarce, saying: “We have a tiny window where this could be pulled out of the fire.

A Pride parade float by Netflix, which has changed the location of its OBX production

Netflix, a source of many queer shows, has sent floats to multiple Pride parades (Pedro Mera/Getty)

“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 said that when it came to anti-LGBT discrimination legislation, all Netflix wanted to see was that local authorities “have the ability to pass the law.”

PinkNews has contacted Netflix for comment.

“Good on Netflix for taking seriously the impact of this disgraceful law on their LGBTQ talent & employees”

— HRC president Chad Griffin

Democratic State Senator Harper Peterson, who was elected in November, supported this call to end the block on anti-discrimination laws.

“That is a decision the legislature has to make and realise that it is one more opportunity we are losing if we don’t,” he told StarNews Online.

“There is no rational reason to delay if it is already going to sunset,” he continued.

“We have to get back and be competitive with other states,” Peterson added, “It just hurts to see a production about North Carolina go to South Carolina.”

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin welcomed Netflix’s alleged decision on OBX, a 10-episode series about four teenagers dealing with life after a hurricane cuts all power to the Outer Banks islands.

He tweeted on January 10: “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.”