Byron Bay residents have staged protests against Netflix’s new Australian reality television show, Byron Baes.
The show, which was announced earlier this month, is described by Netflix as a “docu-soap” and will follow “a ‘feed’ of hot Instagrammers living their best lives, being their best selves, creating the best d̶r̶a̶m̶a̶ content”.
The ABC reports that a slew of surfers took to the ocean today (April 20) to perform a protest paddle. The surfers formed a circle with a line through it, representing their opposition to the series.
Byron Shire Council’s Greens Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye reportedly attended the protest, saying that idea was “vapid” and “tacky”, despite admitting Netflix had produced great content in the past.
“I think the community has come out so strongly because this is not who they are and this is not who they want to be portrayed as,” she told the ABC.
“I think it’s a really lazy choice on Netflix’s part.”
Mayor Simon Richardson had previously shared his disapproval of the series, saying it “was offensive to the community”.
“We’ve almost got 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,” Richardson 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.”
Que Minh Luu, Netflix’s director of content for Australia and New Zealand, previously told The Age that the show wasn’t meant to mock anyone.
“[It’s aimed at building] a connection between the people we meet in the show and ourselves as the audience,” she said.
“People can find it easy to write off those who have influencer lifestyles and careers, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all curating our lives before we put them out on social media?”