After Netflix announced its new reality show Byron Baes would spotlight the lives of Aussie influencers, Byron locals have hit back at the show.
In a petition titled ‘Boycott Byron Baes Netflix Series by Refusing to Grant Filming Permits’, members of the Byron community have outlined their issues with the program.
The petition calls for local government areas and state authorities to “prioritise community concern”.
“We, the community want all relevant statutory authorities to refuse to grant the production filming permits for any and all local and state government land, roads, parks, and waterways proposed for use during filming of the series. We further request that any filming permits already granted be rescinded in light of the detrimental impact to both our community and the environment.”
The issue with Byron Baes, according to the petition, is that “we are a community experiencing significant challenges driven by influencer culture and rapidly shifting demographics of residents. We do not want to be cast as the perfect backdrop and magnet for social media influencers. We do not want to appear in ‘Byron Baes’.”
“Rather than using our region as a reality show punch line we want our Local, State and Federal government representatives and relevant regulatory authorities to focus on supporting our community to address systemic issues of housing affordability, coastal erosion, increasing unemployment, traffic management challenges, low high school completion rates and high levels of gendered and domestic violence.”
The petition has currently reached 6,116 signatures of its 7,000 signature target.
A description of the show released by Netflix reads: “there’s no better backdrop – or magnet for influencers – than Byron Bay.”
“This is our love letter to Byron Bay. It’s not just Chris [Hemsworth] and Zac’s [Efron] backyard, it’s the playground of more celebrity-adjacent-adjacent influencers than you can poke a selfie-stick at.”
The Mayor of Byron Bay, Simon Richardson, told the ABC that the show was “offensive” to the Byron community,
He said, “we’ve got a community that is in real stress, we’ve got a community that has real life issues dealing with housing, work, affordability.
“While we are here trying to deal with this as best we can, to have this pamphlet of an idea of who we are without any input by us.”
Local musician and cafe owner Ben Gordon told the Sydney Morning Herald that, “it’s a multinational company trying to exploit the town’s name when the community doesn’t want it and think they can just come in and use us as a commodity.”
“They don’t realise they’ve got a big fight on their hands.”
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