Netflix has pulled production of an upcoming drama series from North Carolina over anti-gay legislation on the US state’s books, the show’s creator has said.
Instead, the streaming service is expected to take the North Carolina-set drama OBX to neighbouring South Carolina instead, local media reported.
OBX creator Jonas Pate, who grew up in North Carolina, had been pushing Netflix to shoot in his home state but that the anti-gay law had turned the company off the location.
Passed in 2016, the so-called “bathroom bill” drew outrage for requiring transgender people use the public restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.
While the law was partially repealed after widespread backlash, LGBTIQ advocates say there remains a clause that forbids local councils from enacting non-discrimination protections for any group not included in state law – that includes LGBTIQ people.
“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.
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin praised Netflix for the decision.
“Good on @netflix for taking seriously the impact of this disgraceful law on their LGBTQ talent & employees,” he tweeted.
“It’s been nearly 3 years since NC passed #HB2, and it’s long past time for this hateful bill to be fully repealed.”
Netflix is reportedly projected to spend around $60 million on the 10 episode series of the coming-of-age drama, which follows a group of four teenagers after a hurricane cuts all power and communication to their islands.
“When these lifelines for teens like phones and Snapchat are gone, it really reorients the generational divisions,” Pate explained.