Outer Banks, NetFlix’s ultra-hot bodied racially diverse laid back stoner surfer shipwreck hunting have/have-not murder mystery has a transgender back story.
And I’m guilty as charged.
I’m guilty of starting to watch NetFlix’s top-ranking escapist flick to flee the reality of our time, as thousands have. But even with the spectacular scenery, Outer Banks couldn’t hold my attention, the acting, in my opinion, was that bad.
That was until something crossed my newsfeed.
From the Youtube trailer: “Four friends. One summer. And $400 million in gold. Outer Banks is coming to Netflix April 15:”
“Outer Banks is a coming of age story that follows a tight-knit group of local teens (aka the Pogues) in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When a hurricane kills the power for the summer season, it sets off a chain of illicit events that force the friends to make life-altering decisions. The search for their ringleader’s missing father, forbidden romances, a high-stakes treasure hunt, and the escalating conflict between the Pogues and their rivals turn their summer into one filled with mystery and adventure they’ll never forget.”
Well thanks, but not entirely true, but in an awesome way.
News Week reports that Outer Banks wasn’t filmed in the Outer Banks or in North Carolina at all. And to quote actress Madison Bailey who plays Kiara “You Deserve to Know the Truth”.
Outer Banks, as the name might suggest, Outer Banks is set in and among the barrier islands of North Carolina and Virginia. Originally, the Netflix treasure-hunting drama was due to be filmed at the Outer Banks themselves. However, a little political activism on the part of Netflix led to the original plan to shoot the show in Wilmington, North Carolina, being scrapped.
In January 2019, Netflix announced that it would not shoot Outer Banks, which was then known as OBX, in North Carolina. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this was in part due to the state’s House Bill 2. Known to many as “the bathroom bill,” the law required transgender people to use the restrooms that matched the sex written on their birth certificate.
Though part of this bill was repealed when it became one of the most-discussed and notorious pieces of legislation in modern political discourse, certain parts of the bills considered discriminatory to LGBTQ+ people remain in force in the state.
At the time, Outer Banks co-creator Jonas Pate, a resident of Wilmington, told The Fayetteville Observer, “This tiny law is costing this town 70 good, clean, pension-paying jobs and also sending a message to those people who can bring these jobs and more that North Carolina still doesn’t get it.”
Instead of shooting in North Carolina, Outer Banks was instead filed in Charleston, South Carolina. Speaking to Wilmington Star News in April 2020, Pate said: “When we wrote it, it was 100 percent Wilmington in our heads. We wanted to film it here. But Netflix made the right decision to insist on inclusivity and we completely agree with them.”
The island at the heart of Outer Bank is a fictional one in North Carolina, the wealthy side of which is known as Figure 8 and the lower-class portion of which is The Cut—a location partly modeled on NC’s Snow’s Cut.