Furious Byron Bay locals call on Aussies to give ‘Netflix the flick’ as they campaign against new reality TV series Byron Baes – but producers THANK them for the free publicity
Byron Bay locals are demanding Netflix cancel a new reality TV series about the glamorous coastal community in northern New South Wales.
The protesters, who have launched a petition to boycott the show, appeared on Today amid their fight against the docu-soap titled ‘Byron Baes’.
Dozens of residents staged a paddle out against the series on Tuesday morning, while other locals displayed placards that read ‘give Netflix the flick’ and ‘consult traditional owners’.
Ben Gordon, owner of The Byron Bay General Store, is leading calls to snub the Netflix production – and asking other local businesses to do the same.
‘They’ve simply turned up unannounced and they are proposing to drag our name through the mud, and make millions of dollars without offering anything back to the community,’ he told Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon.
Byron Bay locals are seen gathering in protest against the Netflix reality show on Tuesday
Dozens of residents staged a paddle out against the reality series on Tuesday morning
‘Our community not your commodity’: Byron Bay locals are boycotting a Netflix reality series titled Byron Baes
Byron Baes has been announced as the new Australian Netflix Original and will run for eight episodes in total
Mr Gordon said the prospective reality series is ‘a complete misrepresentation of who we are as a community’.
‘Today, what we’ve seen, is the real Byron, the community coming together for issues that we believe in,’ he said.
‘What they’re proposing is manufactured drama, gossip and bickering about how many likes we have on Instagram.
‘There’s no one in the show that’s actually from Byron.
‘They’re simply trying to use our name and image for profit, and it’s not hard to see why we are upset about this.’
A press release for the program describes Byron Baes as a ‘docu-soap series’ and calls it ‘our love letter to Byron Bay’ that will also offer audience ‘fights, flings and heartbreak’.
A Byron Bay resident holds a sign that reads ‘you don’t get Byron’ during the protest on Tuesday
A petition to boycott ‘Byron Baes’ popped up online after Netflix announced the town in the Northern Rivers region of NSW would be ‘the perfect setting for our next Australian Netflix Original’
It continues: ‘It’s not just Chris [Hemsworth] and Zac [Efron]’s backyard; it’s the playground of more celebrity-adjacent influencers than you can poke a selfie-stick at.’
Stefanovic said the show came to be because Byron Bay became ‘so popular’.
‘I like to think the Hemsworths had something to do with this,’ he said.
‘It became such a spot, a cool spot to be, with everything that’s going on there, with really cool people, that everyone wanted a piece of it and now they all want to get their Instagram in front of the pubs there and all the cool coffee shops.
‘You’re a victim of your own popularity.’
There are now more than 7,000 signatures on the ‘Boycott Byron Baes’ petition
Mr Gordon agreed with Stefanovic that the coastal town’s popularity had reached an all time high.
‘All our popularity has culminated to this point which is a bit of a wake up call for all of us, myself included,’ he said.
There are now more than 7,000 signatures on the ‘Boycott Byron Baes’ petition – but the Netflix series is seemingly undeterred by the campaign.
An Instagram account, which appears to be the TV show, commented on a picture of locals proposing the series.
‘The more of this exposure, the better for the (already approved) show,’ the comment reads.
‘We invite you all to be part of the filming.
‘Byron Bae is a very special location and many of the cast, crew and businesses are local!’