While Byron Baes hasn’t even begun filming, one thing has been clear since it was announced: Byron Bay is not buying it.
The community is apparently worried how the show could worsen the various social housing and coastal erosion problems affecting the community and reinforce the growing glitz and glam of Hollywood and social media fame, potentially making the very real problems Byron residents face on the daily even worse.
And now, the backlash has gotten so severe that Netflix executives have personally flown out to Byron Bay to smooth things over.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Netflix’s director of public policy Nick O’Donnell flew up to Byron Bay last week for “crisis talks” with key stakeholders in the town like Simon.
Simon had previously described the show to the ABC as “a Truman Show-type portrayal of who we are where everything is quite idyllic and superficial, where out the back it's an empty parking lot.”
He added: "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."
The outlet adds that while not much has been revealed about Netflix’s meeting, the streaming giant is ensuring that no more than 10 people are on-set at any point in time.
In an attempt to spotlight the actual Byron Bay community, the show stresses that its vision is to focus on locals and entrepreneurs - like rumoured stars and small business owners Kathy and Ralph Brauer.
“They’re not bikini babes,” a source told Sydney Morning Herald about its cast. More will no doubt be revealed when the show begins filming in May.