Lionsgate has moved production on a pilot for the original Hulu comedy Crushed to Canada from North Carolina.The move comes in the wake of that state's governor signing a controversial new anti-LGBT law.
While Lionsgate has spoken out against the new law, tax incentives also came into play in the decision to choose a Canadian location.
The project, now in pre-production, was originally set to shoot in North Carolina in May, but is now headed to Vancouver. A studio spokesperson declined comment on its production plans for the original comedy from Lionsgate Television and Homegrown Pictures.
Lionsgate earlier scouted locations in British Columbia and North Carolina. In the end, Lionsgate failed to secure a tax break to shoot the Crushed pilot in the Tar Heel state, but was assured of a tax credit to set up shop in the Canadian province. North Carolina has long attracted Hollywood productions, although it let its tax incentives expire at the start of 2015, although later in the year it instituted a new, though less generous, program of grants, capped at $30 million per fiscal year.
The move of the Crushed pilot to Vancouver follows the passage of North Carolina's House Bill 2, a new law that bans transgender citizens from entering bathrooms not assigned to their birth-sex, while also prohibiting local anti-LGBT discrimination rules passed by towns and cities in the state. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the legislation into law on March 24.
That same day, Lionsgate issued a statement protesting the passage of bill as "deplorable and discriminatory," before adding the anti-LGBT law runs "counter to everything we stand for." The law has drawn protests from major companies that do business in the state, and on April 5, Paypal said it was cancelling plans to build a new facility in Charlotte, N.C.
The studio at the time said it would go forward with shooting the three-hour filmed musical event Dirty Dancing in North Carolina, saying, "given our obligation to the hundreds of people in the state employed by the production," but made no mention of the Crushed pilot. "We will be hard pressed to continue our relationship with North Carolina if this regressive law remains on the books," the studio warned in its statement last month.
McCrory is being urged by others to repeal the law. The law has drawn protests from major companies that do business in the state, and on April 5, Paypal said it was cancelling plans to build a new facility in Charlotte, N.C.