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Byron Baes begins filming without consulting local Indigenous groups 

Netflix’s upcoming reality show Byron Baes has sparked more controversy, this time for not consulting local Indigenous groups or the Byron Council before filming. 

According to independent newspaper Echo, the Byron Council ‘passed an urgency motion’ that would require producers to get permission before any further filming.

Speaking to the paper, independent Councillor Cate Coorey said: ‘We need to stand up for our community.’

Backlash: Netflix’s upcoming reality show Byron Baes has sparked more controversy, this time for not consulting local Indigenous groups or the Byron Council before filming 

‘They haven’t sought clearances, they haven’t considered the relevant stakeholders, and so far we’ve seen no consultation, and yet filming has gone ahead,’ she added.

Producers may now be forced to seek permission before any further filming can take place, which includes filming on both private property or public spaces.

Not mincing words, Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye said: ‘This corporation, Netflix, has basically come in and s**t on us.’

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Byron Baes’ production company Eureka Productions for comment. 

Not mincing words, Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye said: 'This corporation, Netflix, has basically come in and shat on us.' (Pictured: Influencers Ruby Tuesday Matthews and Saskia Wotton)

Not mincing words, Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye said: ‘This corporation, Netflix, has basically come in and shat on us.’ (Pictured: Influencers Ruby Tuesday Matthews and Saskia Wotton)

A potential Byron Baes cast member recently slammed the Netflix show just days after a rumoured cast list was leaked, saying he ‘felt embarrassed’ to be associated with the program.

Billy Otto confirmed on Instagram that he had nothing to do with the ‘docu-soap series’ which outraged locals before filming even began.

The musician shared a photo of himself at the beach holding an anti-Byron Baes poster, and explained in the caption why he’d decided to pull out.

Billy, whose name appeared in The Daily Telegraph‘s leaked cast list, said he did not believe the show would be a ‘true representation of the soul of Byron’.  

In addition to saying the Netflix production ‘doesn’t align’ with his personal values, he also claimed it did not receive blessing from the local Indigenous Elders.

‘Yep, I feel embarrassed to have been associated with this show,’ he said.

'Yep, I feel embarrassed': Billy Otto confirmed on Instagram that he had nothing to do with the 'docu-soap series' which outraged locals before filming even began.

‘Yep, I feel embarrassed’: Billy Otto confirmed on Instagram that he had nothing to do with the ‘docu-soap series’ which outraged locals before filming even began.

Billy explained he’d initially agreed to join the show after a casting producer had expressed an interest in his music and advocacy for men’s mental health.

Billy claims it wasn’t until later that he learned what the show was really about.

‘I began to understand later the true nature of the program, and it became clear to me that I didn’t align with the ethos of the show… I don’t believe that the world needs a show like this right now,’ he said.

He said he wanted to help preserve the ecology of the Bryon region and didn’t support the ‘hyper-gentrification’ of the area.

Uncovered: Billy's powerful message to Netflix comes after the Byron Baes cast members were revealed by The Daily Telegraph earlier this week. Pictured: Elias Chigros

Uncovered: Billy’s powerful message to Netflix comes after the Byron Baes cast members were revealed by The Daily Telegraph earlier this week. Pictured: Elias Chigros

Billy suggested that Netflix ditch their show about ‘influencers’ and instead make a more thoughtful series ‘working alongside Bundjalung Elders and capturing the dreamers, creatives and custodians that help make this place special’.

Billy’s powerful message to Netflix comes after the Byron Baes cast members were revealed by The Daily Telegraph earlier this week.  

Joining the cast are former reality stars Nathan Favro, from The Bachelorette, and Elias Chigros, from Love Island Australia.

Coming soon: The controversial new series will feature a variety of local influencers, including Elle Watson

Coming soon: The controversial new series will feature a variety of local influencers, including Elle Watson

Co-creative director of local boutique BISQUE Hannah Brauer will also appear, alongside Byron Bay ‘It couple’ Dave Frim and Saskia Wotton. 

Others in the cast include investment company employee Elle Watson, influencer Jade Kevin Foster and spiritualistic therapist Simba Ali.

Rounding out the cast is Kyle Sandilands’ former assistant-turned-manager Alex Reid, fashion designer Jess Bell and her model sister Lauren. 

Claim to fame: Joining the cast are former reality stars Nathan Favro (pictured), from The Bachelorette, and Elias Chigros, from Love Island Australia

Claim to fame: Joining the cast are former reality stars Nathan Favro (pictured), from The Bachelorette, and Elias Chigros, from Love Island Australia

The unveiling of the cast comes after a handful of so-called Byron locals recently paddled out into the ocean to protest the show, while others stood by with placards that read ‘give Netflix the flick’ and ‘consult traditional owners’.

Ben Gordon, owner of The Byron Bay General Store, led calls to snub production – and is 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.

Making a name for herself: Co-creative director of local boutique BISQUE Hannah Brauer (pictured) will also appear, alongside Byron Bay couple Dave Frim and Saskia Wotton

Making a name for herself: Co-creative director of local boutique BISQUE Hannah Brauer (pictured) will also appear, alongside Byron Bay couple Dave Frim and Saskia Wotton

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.

Nick O’Donnell, Netflix’s director of public policy, recently travelled to the NSW town ‘for crisis talks with stakeholders’ as the backlash continues to grow.  

Life of luxury: Others in the cast include investment company employee Elle Watson, influencer Jade Kevin Foster (pictured) and spiritualistic therapist Simba Ali

Life of luxury: Others in the cast include investment company employee Elle Watson, influencer Jade Kevin Foster (pictured) and spiritualistic therapist Simba Ali


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