North Carolina 'Bathroom Bill' Prompts Netflix to Choose Alternative Filming Location
By Bryn Elise Sandberg
North Carolina's controversial legislation is impacting Hollywood's decision to film in the state.
Netflix has opted to film its upcoming North Carolina-set series OBX, a coming-of-age drama set in a fictional town in the state's Outer Banks, in South Carolina instead due to remnants of North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2. Best known as "the bathroom bill," the law requires transgender people use the public restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. The legislation first drew criticism when it was enacted in 2016, with some studios even pulling their projects out of the state.
Despite the fact that North Carolina repealed a section of the law in 2017 following a year of backlash, it didn't completely overturn HB2.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. Sources suggest the law wasn't the only reason the streamer opted to not film in North Carolina, though it was a key factor. "This is an economic development project and therefore we don't discuss pending projects," Guy Gaster, director of North Carolina's film office, told The Hollywood Reporter.