Netflix's Influencer Reality Show "Byron Baes" Draws Controversy In Australia
Locals in Byron Bay are trying to stop a new show called "Byron Baes" from coming to the town.
Netflix is planning a new influencer reality TV show in Australia, but residents and businesses in the area are revolting and trying to stop the production from coming to town.
The show is called "Byron Baes," and it's set in the oceanside community of New South Wales' Byron Bay, a popular beach community where Chris Hemsworth has a home. It's also the site of the annual Byron Bay Blues Festival and it's generally known to be a relatively quiet place that serves as an escape when people want to get out of the city and relax.
Netflix has proposed filming a reality show there and locals aren't having it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, about 100 surfers went into the water on Tuesday to form a "cancel" symbol to protest the series. Some local businesses have refused to sign filming permits, such as the Byron Bay General Store.
"They're proposing to drag our name through the mud and make millions of dollars without offering anything back to the community and completely misrepresenting who we are and it's totally wrong," store operator Ben Gordon said. "There was no consultation whatsoever. They just came in unannounced."
For its part, Netflix said Byron Baes is trying to be an "authentic and honest" shows that "embraces the drama, heartbreak, and conflict that makes for such entertaining viewing."
"Our goal is to lift the curtain on influencer culture to understand the motivation, the desire, and the pain behind this very human need to be loved," a spokesperson said.
"The reason behind choosing Byron Bay as a location was driven by the area's unique attributes as a melting pot of entrepreneurialism, lifestyle and health practices, and the sometimes uneasy coming together of the traditional 'old Byron' and the alternative 'new,' all of which we'll address in the series."
Byron Bay has successfully kept its small-town stature in recent years, blocking proposals from the likes of McDonald's and KFC to open restaurants there.