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Netflix moves production of show from North Carolina over trans bathroom laws

Netflix moves production of show from North Carolina over trans bathroom laws

Crowds descended upon statehouse in North Carolina last December to urge repeal of HB2.

Streaming service, Netflix, has moved production of a new show out of North Carolina over the state’s controversial ‘bathroom bills’.

Netflix will now film ‘OBX’ in South Carolina instead of Wilmington, North Carolina where the show is set.

North Carolina passed the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2) in 2016. The bill did not protect trans people who had not undergone ‘surgical and legal steps’ to affirm their gender from using public restrooms based on their trued gender identity.

The bill triggered copycats in other states and sparked a global debate about the issue. North Carolina eventually repealed some of the HB2 and replaced it with the equally controversial HB142 bill. LGBTI advocates labelled HB142 as a ‘discriminatory replacement’.


Wilmington native, Jonas Pate, created OBX which tells the story of four teenagers in a fictional island town. The show follows the teens after a hurricane cuts all power and communication to the islands.

‘It’s a coming of age story,’ Pate told the Wilmington Star.

‘When these lifelines for teens like phones and Snapchat are gone, it really reorients the generational divisions.’

Netflix picked the show up for 10 episodes and despite many of the show’s locations being based on real places in Wilmington, will move the production to South Carolina.

Pate said Netflix passed on filming in North Carolina because of a clause in HB142. The clause bans municipalities from passing an ordinance excluding them from the bill’s restrictions.

Pate urged lawmakers to bring forward the expiry date of the clause – which is currently 1 December, 2020 – which might persuade Netflix to bring the filming back to Wilmington.

OBX is due to start production in spring 2019.