Rob Reiner is boycotting North Carolina, and potentially Georgia too, saying he won’t be making any more films there until he sees an end to anti-gay legislation. He has invited his friends in Hollywood to join him in protest.
Reiner is an actor and the director of 25 films including Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, and his latest, now in post-production, LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson.
An article by The Hollywood Reporter said that Reiner is taking a stand against a law signed into effect on Wednesday. House Bill 2 is designed to prevent cities, towns and counties from passing anti-discrimination rules beyond certain standards set by the state. The bill was signed by Governor Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina. The law gives businesses and employers the right to discriminate, based on sexual orientation.
Transgender people are now required to use public restrooms according to their biological gender, which has raised a storm of criticism.
Reiner tweeted his stance about the new law.
“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.”
In North Carolina, it may not make much difference, said Forbes Magazine. Film tax incentives have been cut back, making the state much less attractive to filmmakers, and now, much less attractive to the LGBT community.
“In North Carolina today, there are no legal protections for gays and lesbians. That means a private business in Charlotte or anywhere else in the state can refuse to serve someone who is gay, and a bakery could refuse to make a cake for a wedding of a gay couple… The only protected classes recognized by the state will be race, color, national origin and biological sex.”
North Carolina, for years, has provided a hub for the film industry, based on tax incentives offered to filmmakers. It has been host to hundreds of movies in the past decade including the award-winning series, Homeland, and films such as Hunger Games and We’re The Millers, just to name a few. According to the North Carolina Film Office, beginning in 2010, the state offered a 25 percent tax credit to film companies, and eliminating the 6.9 percent income tax on the tax credit.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 25, 2016
This offered plenty of work for filmmakers who wanted to do business in North Carolina, and boosted the state’s economy as well. But the state’s legislature tanked its film industry in 2014 by cutting its tax incentives.
Tempted by a similar tax incentive in Georgia, filmmakers trundled their crews and gear to North Carolina’s neighbor after 2014. A tax hike is looming there as well, threatening Atlanta’s economy, and the tourist industry, as people travel there in hopes of getting a glimpse of their favorite celebrities.
— Equality Network (@equalitynetwork) March 25, 2016
To make things worse for the Georgia film industry, legislation against gay marriage is threatening the same result. Georgia has a pending House Bill, which Governor Nathan Deal has until May 3 to sign or veto.
Rob Reiner has put his foot down on this bill as well. Disney and Time Warner are taking a stand, as well as other celebrities like Aaron Sorkin, Anne Hathaway, Julianne Moore, and Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm. All are echoing Reiner’s thoughts about the North Carolina anti-gay status.
“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.”
[Image via Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock]