Famed director Rob Reiner said he won't produce movies in North Carolina until it repeals a new law banning cities from enacting their own anti-discrimination protections — legislation widely seen as rolling back LGBT rights.
Reiner, whose long list of movies include “When Harry Met Sally,” “A Few Good Men” and “Stand By Me,” joins a growing chorus of entertainment heavyweights who say they won’t do business in states that have passed laws they see as discriminatory.
"Until this hateful law is repealed and LGBT North Carolinans are treated with the equal dignity they deserve, I will not film another production in North Carolina, and I encourage my colleagues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," Reiner said in a statement Friday.
The Republican-led legislature passed the bill after Charlotte approved anti-discrimination measures that would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law Wednesday.
A Motion Picture Association of America official on Thursday also said that studios oppose "any law that legitimizes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."
An incentive program, which has since been scaled back, has made North Carolina a major film and television production hub.
Opposition to the law could affect more than filming. ESPN, which had been considering North Carolina for the summer X Games, said in a statement Friday: "At ESPN, we embrace diversity and inclusion and will evaluate all of our options as we seek a new city for the X Games.”
The NBA said the “discriminatory law” runs counter to its values and that it could affect the planned 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte. The Charlotte Hornets basketball team and Carolina Hurricanes both reaffirmed their opposition to all forms of discrimination in statements Friday.
The NCAA, which has 2017 and 2018 tournament games planned in North Carolina, said it was monitoring the situation. "It is our expectation that all people will be welcomed and treated with respect in cities that host our NCAA championships and events,” The NCAA said.
Companies including Facebook, PayPal, Lowe’s, Bank of America, Salesforce, and American Airlines also denounced the law.
The backlash came in the midst of similar potential blow back against Georgia, whose Gov. Nathan Deal has not said whether or not he intends to sign a "religious liberty" bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples by citing religious principles.
Like North Carolina, Georgia is a top destination for movie and television production.
AMC, which films "The Walking Dead" in Georgia, implied it would cease shooting there if the bill becomes law. Disney and Netflix said they wouldn't film there if the legislation is passed, according to Reuters.
Comcast and NBCUniversal, NBC News' parent companies, also released a statement urging Deal not to sign the bill into law.