‘Outer Banks’: Why the New Netflix Series Was Filmed in South Carolina Instead of North Carolina

Netflix’s new show Outer Banks has taken the world by storm. While the show takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Outer Banks was actually filmed in Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s why Netflix filmed the show in South Carolina instead of North Carolina.

Outer Banks cast
Rudy Pankow, Jonathan Daviss, Madison Bailey, Chase Stokes and Madelyn Cline | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

It has to do with a law in North Carolina

In 2016, North Carolina authorized a controversial anti-LGBTQ law. House Bill 2, which became known as “the bathroom bill,” requires that transgender people must use public restrooms that match the biological sex listed on their birth certificate instead of what matches their gender identity.

The bill was heavily criticized as soon as it was enacted, and entertainment industries were quick to protest. Lionsgate moved the production of the Crushed pilot from North Carolina to Canada, the NCAA refused to let the state host upcoming tournament games, and the 2017 NBA All-Star Game was moved from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Part of the bill was repealed in 2017, but it was not overturned. In 2019, the state reached a settlement that “transgender people in North Carolina can use any public restroom in state-run buildings that conforms with their gender identity.”

The creator of Netflix’s ‘Outer Banks’ grew up in North Carolina

Jonas Pate, the show’s co-creator, grew up in North Carolina and planned to film “Outer Banks” in the state. He pushed for the show to be filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. However, Netflix does not approve of a piece of the replacement bill, HB142.

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A remaining clause on the replacement bill dictates that towns and cities cannot enact nondiscrimination laws for any group that is not already included in state law, and that includes those of the LGBTQ community.

“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,” Pate told The Fayetteville Observer.

While Pate wanted the show to film in Wilmington, North Carolina, he feels Netflix made the right choice.

“When we wrote it, it was 100 percent Wilmington in our heads,” Pate told theĀ Wilmington Star-News. “We wanted to film it here. But Netflix made the right decision to insist on inclusivity and we completely agree with them.”

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RELATED: ‘Outer Banks’: Everything the Series Gets Wrong About Outer Banks, North Carolina

The show has been called out for its inaccuracies

While some have applauded Netflix for choosing not to film in North Carolina, others have pointed out the inaccuracies Outer Banks makes about the state. The entertaining and binge-worthy show has never claimed to be an accurate portrayal of the state, but North Carolina residents could not help but point out one major error.

The inaccuracy? The show suggested that the town Chapel Hill, North Carolina could be reached by ferry from the coast, despite the fact the town is landlocked and 250 miles away from the cost. Pate, however, had an explanation.

“I don’t want people to think that we don’t know Chapel Hill isn’t near the coast. Maybe I’m over thinking this, but we’re super proud of it, we bleed North Carolina and we want it to reflect well on our state,” he said. “In the original script, they took a ferry from an island to the coast, then took an Uber to Chapel Hill. But that scene of them getting into the Uber and driving to Chapel Hill was cut, and never even shot. We cut it not realizing it would imply Chapel Hill was on the coast.”