I’ve never seen a show cop as much backlash before it’s even finalised its cast or started filming like Netflix docusoap, Byron Baes.

From the second Netflix hit ‘post’ on the announcement pic on Instagram, folks have been talking smack about it, in particular the furious Byron Bay locals who launched a petition and a paddle-out protest to have the show canned before it’s even begun production.

In an attempt to do some damage control, several Netflix executives recently flew to Byron Bay to hold “crisis talks with stakeholders,” which probably involved a whole lot of kale-eating and crystal-cleansing in the hopes of wooing the locals.

The whole shitshow (literally) has become international news, with the New York Times reporting on the backlash. One of Netflix’s executives, Que Minh Luu, shared the article and provided some insight into the current status of the show.

“A postcard’s worth of copy doesn’t tell the whole story of what the show is,” she began, referencing the announcement Instagram post that features a postcard. “It looks at human connection, ambition, image and what lies underneath – not all glossy, often contradictory. Like the place itself. Byron is a symbol to so many Australians.”

She went on to say that Byron Baes is “a reality show and it has craft. It is hella entertaining and it is complex. These are not mutually exclusive. The team and participants are committed, hardworking, with heart & incredible stories to tell,” adding that “the craft and skill that goes into reality is kinda incredible.”

There’s been much speculation about which influencers will be taking part in Byron Baes and while Que does not divulge any specific deets, she does confirm that “the participants number in the double digits, a quarter born/raised in the area, most have lived there a meaningful length of time, a few newer to the area.”

“They are artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, business owners, models, on a spiritual journey and more. They understand the power of influence. They are part of Byron. They understand the creative vision of the show that has been developed with them over several months,” she continued.

The two influencers who are currently rumoured to be part of the cast are Love Island star Elias Chigros (pictured above) and stunning curve model Jessica Vander Leahy.

Directly referencing the backlash, she says that “most of them hated the press release too” and following its release, she “did a lot of apologising” to the Byron Baes cast. She also jokes about firing the PR team as a result.

She concludes by writing that although Byron Baes “won’t be for everyone,” it will be “authentic, honest and layered and FUN. Also a docusoap! Can’t wait to share it.”

Byron Baes is coming soon to Netflix and if it’s anywhere near as dramatic as the behind-the-scenes drama, you can bet your ass I’ll be watching the shit out of it.

Matty Galea is the Entertainment Editor at Pedestrian who also dabbles in woo-woo stuff like astrology and crystals and has been penning horoscopes since the start of his career. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.