Just when the Aussie influencer scene couldn’t get more saturated, Netflix has premiered Byron Baes, a brand new reality show set in Chris Hemworth’s (not literal) backyard, featuring a gaggle of Insta-stars gagging for attention.
According to Netflix, the docu-soap appropriately as a “love letter to Byron Bay”, calling the popular holiday location a “magnet for influencers”.
“It’s not just Chris and Zac’s backyard, it’s the playground of more celebrity-adjacent-adjacent influencers than you can poke a selfie stick at,” the official statement revealed.
“But PLOT TWIST: Don’t write these Baes off too quickly. There’ll be fights, flings and heartbreak; but beneath every perfect post is a very real desire not just for ‘likes’, but to be liked, dammit, for who you are.”
Plus, it’s produced by the brilliant (daft) minds behind Married at First Sight and The Real Housewives of Sydney, so there is bound to be a constant stream of drama and at least one hidden girlfriend… and maybe a love child? Who knows! The possibilities are endless!
Who Is In The Cast Of Byron Baes?
Byron Baes has an influx of almost-somebodies and could-be-somebodies attached to the series.
These baes include former Love Island star Elias Chigros and Bachelor in Paradise alumni Nathan Favro, who may have found his perfect match among his co-stars.
Joining them on-screen while they “[live] their best lives” is Hannah Brauer, co-creative director of local boutique Bisque, glamorous couple Dave Frim and Saskia Wotton and local businesswoman Elle Watson.
Model and influencer Jade Kevin Foster will also appear alongside Alex Reid, who was formerly Kyle Sandiland’s personal assistant.
Artist Cai Leplaw, influencer Jessica Johansen-Bell and spiritualistic therapist Simba Ali will also feature.
Influencer Ruby Tuesday Matthews was once rumoured to appear before she posted to her Instagram story, calling the show “embarrassing”.
“For everyone asking if I’ll be on this show, I declined the offer,” she wrote to her followers. “Goodbye Byron, you are officially cooked.”
We guess no amount of oysters could entice the model to star on the series, even after she infamously held up a flight in 2020 because she left the airport to feast on the seafood. An absolute baller move though, if you ask us.
The Stars Weren’t Happy With The Show’s PR Announcement
Netflix was forced to apologise to the Byron Baes themselves after it was revealed they were furious with the press release which branded them as “hot Instagrammers”.
Yep, the newly appointed Director of Originals in Australia for Netflix, Que Minh Luu confirmed to her followers that the cast “hated” the postcard-themed PR post announcing the upcoming series.
“Most of [the cast] hated the press release too! Did a lot of apologising that week,” she penned, before acknowledging the cast as “artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, business owners, models, on a spiritual journey and more”. Yawn! Just tell us they’re all after a blue tick and get on with it!
Why Byron Bay Locals Wanted The Show Canned
The show, which emphasises hot influencers and low stakes drama, has copped backlash en masse, especially from Byron Bay locals who have been campaigning heavily to boycott the series.
One petition asked the Byron Local Council to retract Netflix’s filming permits and has nearly ten thousand signatures.
The main argument for canning Byron Baes is that a big production team and increased tourism will accelerate the environmental damage already affecting the Byron Bay coast.
Byron locals also swam out to sea in protest of the show’s production, waving placards that read “give Netflix the flick”.
The owner of The Byron Bay General Store, Ben Gordon, was leading the charge in small businesses boycotting the series.
“They’ve simply turned up unannounced and they are proposing to drag our name through the mud,” he told the Today Show. “[They] make millions of dollars without offering anything back to the community.”
He also claimed the reality series is “a complete misrepresentation of who we are as a community”.
One Instagram user rebutted the locals’ complaints, however, telling them to “stop acting like this programme is going to spoil your ‘quaint little beach village’, because it’s not”.
They then dubbed Byron Bay a “gentrified wankfest”. TBH, we couldn’t come up with a more fitting description if we tried!
How Can You Watch Byron Baes?
If you’re keen to check out the “gentrified wankfest” for yourself, Byron Baes is now streaming on Netflix!
Want even more goss? Listen to episode 158 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!
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