If Netflix is known for anything by now, it would certainly be the incredible wealth of original programming from around the world which is available on the streamer. For television series alone, dozens of new shows of every type debut every year, but one proposed reality series has now upset many in the Australian town that Chris Hemsworth calls home.
Netflix has had a lot of success recently with reality shows like Love Is Blind and The Circle, and a potential new show which is set to take place in Byron Bay, New South Wales in Australia and is currently titled Byron Baes, now has many of the locals very upset. The new series was just announced by the streamer on April 7, but instead of being enthusiastic about the show filming in the beach town, it prompted a lot of residents to sign an online petition in the hope of making the production move elsewhere.
While Byron Baes is set to follow "hot Instagrammers living their best lives," the petition was put together by residents to ask that local government rescind any permits which have already been given to the production, and also refuse to grant any additional permits needed to film in the town. According to the petition, which at the time of this writing had been signed by over 7,200 residents, the locals already feel that they live in an "exploited paradise" which is "experiencing significant challenges driven by influencer culture and rapidly shifting demographics of residents." The petition also notes:
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. We want our voice to be heard and we do not want to deal with the fallout of being showcased on a global stage in a way that can only harm our local environment and community.
While it probably seems surprising to some that the community of Byron Bay would be against Byron Baes filming in the area, it seems pretty clear that many of the residents feel the area has some serious problems which will either be ignored because of the Netflix show filming there, or exploited by production.
Recently, Chris Hemsworth's wife, actress Elsa Pataky, spoke about why they moved their family to the town from Los Angeles and aren't interested in living in the states again. But, permanent residents (of which there were a bit over 9,000 at the time of the 2016 census) feel that social media has already led to a misrepresentation of what it's like to live in the seemingly idyllic spot, which has led more celebrities, like Zac Efron, to flock to the area.
With so many of the town's locales already having signed the petition against Netflix filming Byron Baes in the area, it will be interesting to see whether or not the government will take their concerns seriously enough to back out of the production. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, filming was supposed to being in early May, so we should know more about what will happen to Byron Baes before long.
For more on what you can watch on the streamer right now, check out our guide to the Netflix's April new releases!