Netflix halted production of one of its new original series in North Carolina because of HB 142, a 2017 state bill that legally barred transgender people from using restroom facilities that match their gender identity.
OBX, a coming-of-age story following four teens isolated on an island after a hurricane knocks out outside communication, was reportedly slated to begin production in Wilmington, North Carolina, the hometown of the show creator, Jonas Pate.
According to Pate, Netflix stopped production because of a clause in HB 142 which effectively prevents cities and municipalities from passing non-discrimination ordinances that would protect LGBTQ folk. The streaming service was prepared to spend approximately $60 million in Wilmington, but they've decided to take their money to South Carolina instead.
"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, reports NewNowNext.
A heated legal battle is still raging over HB 142. Last October, a federal judge repealed language in the bill that would allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice and ruled that the remainder of the bill could be legally challenged going forward. The clause that Netflix is concerned about, however, doesn't expire until 2020. Unless North Carolina legislators speed up that process, it'll be a huge blow to the state's economy.