We’re As Mad As Hell And We’re Not Going To Take This Anymore

In May of this year, my team and I produced a short film called Boycott Band - The Return of One More Wish to build awareness for HB2.

It’s a comedic short film about a washed up boy band who takes advantage of the boycotted shows in North Carolina. It’s a light hearted take on a very serious issue. You can watch it below and comment below letting me know what you think!

For those that are unaware, HB2 is the “Bathroom Bill” that was passed into law in North Carolina this year. The general basis is that it keeps transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender they associate with, and forcing them to use the one indicated on their birth certificate. But beneath the bathroom component, the scarier part of the law is that LGBTQ people are not included in anti-discrimination laws. This means someone could be fired for being gay. Or not hired for being transgender. The law also shortened the window in which people can file complaints about discrimination from three years to one.

HB2 is backwards by all accounts, but the larger perspective is that we need to stand up against state sanctioned discrimination. If we don’t, then like a disease it’ll spread its course. Just two weeks ago, Texas and 12 other states opted to support the bill.

For me, it came to a point where I felt needed to do something. I felt like Howard Beale as he reaches his blowout speech in Network, and demands that everyone get up from their seats and shout out the window, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

I can’t change the legislation, because I’m not a politician. I’m not even a North Carolina resident, so I can’t vote against the act. But I’m part of a production company and we make films. My co-workers are both grads of UNC and from working in advertising we had good friends over at the McKinney agency in Durham who were active in fighting against HB2. Suddenly, HB2 was an issue that I felt I could do something about.

Once on the ground in North Carolina, I was surprised by how different the perspective was. Despite Governor McCrory’s tenacious hold on HB2, it seemed everyone I met in North Carolina was firmly against the act. Walking through the streets of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, nearly every store had a sign up in its window calling for the repeal of HB2 and rainbow signs decorated windows more than the American Flag.

Our film was supported by North Carolinians. Every location was donated by residents opposed to the bill. Food to feed our crew was donated from over a dozen local restaurants and establishments. Our largely local cast, crew and creatives all volunteered their time and efforts to make this short film a reality. Hopefully it can remain as a humorous reminder of the terrible things—regionally successful, defunct boy bands— that can arise out of dark times.

After reaching out to 20 different pools, we were able to film at the Ridgewood Pool in Chapel Hill
After reaching out to 20 different pools, we were able to film at the Ridgewood Pool in Chapel Hill

Since the legislation was passed in March of this year, nearly $400 million dollars has been pulled from the state in sponsorships, concerts, companies, federal funding and major events like the NCAA and ACC. The bill has affected multitudes of people, and not only the LGBTQ community. Everyone is losing.

HB2 will be repealed because people around North Carolina are working hard for equality and they are going to turn out and vote. Because people around the entire country are standing up for what they think is right. Because when one person stands up and says, “I think we can do something about this,” other people will join. We just have to get up, stick our heads out the window and shout, “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”