An Aussie Filmmaker Is Suing Netflix And Our Boy Zac Efron For Allegedly Stealing His Show

Zac Efron Ben Waddell

Filmmaker, presenter and model Ben Waddell is looking to sue Zac Efron and Netflix for allegedly stealing the idea for the part eco-documentary, part-travel show Down To Earth from him. And you may be thinking that the two shows might be completely different, but oh boy, they’re not.

First of all, both shows are called Down To Earth, which is not a very good look for Netflix. Second, the trailers for both shows are almost identical in content and message, and even start with the same ‘white boy is excited to speak another language’ clip.

Before we delve into what the hell is happening here, please take a look at the trailers for both shows, especially how they start.

Waddell spoke to Fifi, Fev & Nick on The Fox about how he felt when he discovered that his show, which was made and copyrighted in 2017, was almost identically copied by Zac Efron and released in 2020. Big yikes.

“When did you find out that Zac had done exactly what you pitched to Netflix?” asked host Fifi Box.

“It was a very happy time during Covid,” said Waddell.

“I’d spent three months on the couch and it popped up on my Netflix account as the number two show in the US trending.”


When asked if he had reached out to Netflix about how similar the show is, Waddell said that before he decided to go down the path of informing the media, he had attempted to solve this problem quietly, but no dice.

“I didn’t want to go on this media campaign trail, as soon as I saw it [Zac’s show] last year in June, we did it quietly, we did it professionally, we sent them letters,” said Waddell.

“They didn’t get the letters at the start, and so my lawyer called them and they answered [telling us] ‘send us the email with the letters’, but as soon as they got it, radio silence.”

Due to a prolonged silence from Netflix, Waddell will be moving to legal action.

“I’m not going after anything that isn’t mine, I just want the credit where credit is due really.

“The creative credit, the producer credit – give me the royalties so I can move on.”

Waddell further explained his situation to the Daily Mail, saying that after his show was circulated to multiple film industry insiders, and was not picked up in the US, he had planned to make an Australian version of Down To Earth for Channel Ten.

But these plans were canned when found Zac’s version on Netflix. According to the DM, US showrunners “balked” at Waddell’s idea, and suggested it needed a celebrity at the helm. Well, it looks like they found their celebrity.

To rub more salt to the wound, Zac is currently filming his Australian version of the show for season two. OUCH.

Waddell however does not have proof that Netflix or Zac Efron saw the idea, and it is speculated that it was simply shared with them from someone else in the industry.

Zac however doesn’t seem to be too concerned with any of this news so far, recently sharing a video of him swimming with dolphins with his brother for the next season of Down To Earth.

Zaccy boy, get out of there, you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands.