McCrory's Discrimination Pushes Away Even More NC Jobs
Lionsgate is pulling the plug on any new productions taking place in North Carolina. The film industry already took a hard hit in NC with Governor McCrory's removal of tax incentives and now his discriminatory law is taking away even more jobs.
The Santa Monica, Calif.-based studio had intended to shoot the pilot for “Crushed” in the Charlotte area. The comedy starring Regina Hall is about an African-American family and their Napa wine business.
Jennifer Irvine, who was hired as the local production office coordinator for the show, said the studio informed employees March 24 that it was pulling the plug on the show. Several contractors also confirmed they were told the show had been pulled in Charlotte.
Lionsgate representatives did not return multiple requests for comment. A representative from the state’s film commission declined to comment on the project.
Pre-production work on “Crushed” was to start in early April, and filming was set to begin in May, Irvine said. It’s now going to be filmed in Vancouver, Canada. It’s unclear how many local workers the project affected.
Irvine, who previously worked on the Showtime show “Homeland,” said the film industry in Charlotte was already suffering after the elimination of a state tax credit program in 2014.
“When we lost our tax incentives a year ago, I lost my work at that point,” she said. “We were just starting to trickle back. And now when (McCrory) signed that bill, he tainted the film industry all over again.”
The new North Carolina LGBT bill was a response to a provision in Charlotte’s expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify. Other major corporationslike American Airlines and Apple, as well as sports organizations like the NBA, have similarly voiced their disapproval.
Lionsgate will finish filming the musical “Dirty Dancing” in North Carolina, given how far along the project is. The studio said House Bill 2 is “deplorable and discriminatory, and it runs counter to everything we stand for,” according to a letter obtained by the Observer that was issued by Lionsgate on behalf of “Dirty Dancing.”
“We will be hard pressed to continue our relationship with North Carolina if this regressive law remains on the books,” the letter states.