Netflix has canceled plans to produce an upcoming series titled “OBX” in North Carolina after lingering concerns about the state’s trans bathroom law, a person familiar with the matter told TheWrap Friday. The network instead plans to host production in neighboring South Carolina, in a decision that was described as “final.”
The series has not been officially announced by Netflix and the company declined to comment on the matter. TheWrap has confirmed that 10 episodes of the show have already been picked up by the network and shooting is expected to begin in the spring.
The show is a creation of Jonas Pate, a resident of Wilmington, North Carolina, and chronicles the lives of four teenagers struggling through a hurricane in a fictionalized Outer Banks town.
The story was first reported by North Carolina’s local Wilmington Star News, which said that even though the bathroom bill was repealed back in March 2017, some elements left in place proved an insurmountable obstacle for Netflix.
“Pate said one specific piece of HB142 — a clause forbidding municipalities from passing an ordinance excluding them from the bill’s restrictions — is a sticking point for Netflix, one of the largest and most influential media companies in the world,” the paper reported. The clause expires on Dec. 1, 2020, but Pate said if state legislators can push for an immediate sunset, he thinks Netflix could reconsider bringing the show and dozens of crew positions to Wilmington.
The original law passed by the North Carolina’s state legislature in March 2016 forbid individuals from using public restrooms not in line with their sex assigned at birth. The statute proved extraordinarily divisive and resulted in a raft of bad publicity for the state and lost business opportunities. That same year, more than a dozen states introduced similar bills according to CBS News.
The law was eventually repealed by the Republican dominated legislature after reports — like this one from the Associated Press — showed the state stood to lose billions of dollars in revenue if it remained on the books. The decision from Netflix, however, indicates that the law’s lingering effects continue to have an economic impact in 2019.