A $60 million Netflix series set in North Carolina, based in and named for a key geographical feature of the state, and created by a filmmaker from North Carolina, will be filmed in … South Carolina.
And we have HB 2 to thank.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming series OBX from writer and director Jonas Pate (a Raeford native who filmed the oddball aqua-monster series Surface in Wilmington more than a decade ago and moved back to the area last year) will not film in the state, despite Pate pushing heavily for the location.
Why? Remnants of HB 2 that live on in its 2017 replacement, HB 142, including a clause that, until 2020, prevents local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances protecting any group not already protected by state law—including LGBTQ people.
Netflix wasn’t happy with those parts of the law still being in effect, which played a major role, according to Pate, in not shooting the ten-episode thriller in N.C., despite the fact that it’s specifically about teenagers in an Outer Banks town who are cut off from the outside world by a hurricane. Pate’s still pushing for at least part of the series, which could have resulted in at least 70 jobs in the area, to be filmed in N.C., according to The Fayetteville Observer.
Of course, this might not be the only factor in the production not coming to the area—things aren’t the same as they were a few years ago, when tax incentives for TV productions led to a number of shows, including Homeland, Sleepy Hollow, and Under the Dome filming in North Carolina. All of those moved to other locations when the Republican legislature took those incentives away (and several were canceled shortly thereafter). But, as The Hollywood Reporter mentions, states like Georgia, whose incentive programs have recruited such lucrative ongoing productions as The Walking Dead, are also starting to lose interest from Hollywood because of their anti-LGBTQ politics.