Rob Reiner Vows Not to Film in North Carolina Unless Anti-Gay Law Is Repealed

Rob Reiner - H 2011
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A new state law is designed to prevent cities, towns and counties in the state from passing certain anti-discrimination ordinances.

While Hollywood is focused on the pending legislation in Georgia that critics contend would result in discrimination against the LGBT community, director Rob Reiner is turning his attention to North Carolina, vowing not to film in that state unless a new law, just signed by that state’s governor, is repealed. Reiner's stand could open up a new flank in Hollywood's efforts to counter anti-gay legislation emerging in various states around the country.

On Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina signed into law House Bill 2, designed to prevent cities, towns and counties from passing anti-discrimination rules beyond certain standards set by the state. It also requires that bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and colleges and in government buildings are designated for use only by people based on their biological sex. The law was passed in response to a Charlotte City Council ordinance that would have taken effect April 1 that expanded protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity at hotels and restaurants.

A number of companies, such as Dow Chemical, Biogen and PayPal opposed the new law, which also drew criticism from the NCAA.

In an ad sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, Reiner has lent his voice to the opposition, saying, “I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to North Carolina many times. It is a state filled with kind, good-hearted people who want nothing more but the best for their families, friends, and neighbors. Unfortunately, Governor Pat McCrory and Republican lawmakers have a different vision for North Carolina — one of hate, bigotry, and discrimination. Those aren’t the values of the North Carolina I know, and they’re not the values of this country.”

The director continued, “Until this hateful law is repealed and LGBT North Carolinians are treated with equal dignity they deserve, I will not film another production in North Carolina, and I encourage my colleagues in the entertainment industry to vow to do the same. Enough is enough.”

Reiner was also among a group of Hollywood filmmakers who spoke out earlier today about a bill awaiting the governor’s signature in Georgia, urging Gov. Nathan Deal to veto it and vowing to boycott Georgia if the governor signs the law. He also was a prominent figure behind the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which backed the successful legal effort to overturn Proposition 8 in California.

North Carolina does not attract as much film and TV production as Georgia, in part because the state assembly let a tax credit program expire at the end of 2014, replacing it with a grant program that was capped at $30 million for the current fiscal year.