Residents of an Australian beach-front community are objecting to the filming of a new Netflix reality series, Byron Baes, set to begin production in the area.
Netflix recently announced that the reality series Byron Baes was set to film in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia. But locals launched a petition protesting the series that garnered more than 7,000 signatures. The residents said that they objected to having their paradise “exploited” by a reality series.
“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,” the petition says. “We further request that any filming permits already granted be rescinded in light of the detrimental impact to both our community and the environment.”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 residents further demanded that authorities “prioritise community concern about the impact of the series.” They added that they are worried about “the fallout of being showcased on a global stage in a way that can only harm our local environment and community.”
Netflix said Byron Bay is “the perfect setting for our next Australian Netflix Original,” which the streaming giant said will follow “hot Instagrammers living their best lives.”
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that an influencer in possession of a good follower count must be in want of a beach backdrop,” Netflix said, the BBC reported.
The petition also offered a series of suggestions for what local authorities should do instead.
“Rather than using our region as a reality show punch line,” the petition said, “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.”
Byron Bay General Store owner Ben Gordon decided to refuse permission for the film production to use his store as a backdrop for the show.
“They’re making up their own narrative, drama, and gossip, and the outcome will paint a completely misleading and detrimental image of what Byron is,” Gordon told the media.
Netflix has faced a slew of petitions recently. One in Dec. of 2019 rose to object to a “gay Jesus” show that surpassed 2.3 million signatures in just a few weeks. Another from last year demanded that Netflix remove its twerking pre-teen series, Cuties, over accusations of child porn.
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