Hold onto your eco-documentary travel shows my friends, it looks like things are getting a little bit spicier in the Ben Waddell versus Zac Efron saga. Entering the ring is Waddell’s brother, who has started a GoFundMe called “NETFLIX stole my brother’s show, gave to Zac Efron.” Fun!
In case you missed it, last week Aussie filmmaker Ben Waddell revealed that he would be suing Netflix and Zac Efron for stealing his copyrighted ideas for the show Down to Earth.
Despite the fact that Waddell had filmed the show and its trailer in 2017, a show with the exact same name and style came out in 2020, but with Zac Efron as the host. Waddell claimed that although he didn’t speak to Netflix directly about his idea, he did speak to big names in the film industry.
This lead Waddell to believe that someone has taken his idea straight to Netflix and planted a celebrity face at the front of it.
Now, Waddell’s brother Rob has made a GoFundMe for his filmmaker brother to raise funds for the legal battle, and has set the goal at $50,000 fkn dollarydoos. So far they’ve made just over $8,000. These boys aren’t playing around.
“My name is Rob and I am here representing my Australian brother who is stuck in a situation of having the rug pulled out from under him by streaming giant NETFLIX,” Rob Waddell wrote on GoFundMe.
“A classic case of a big company stomping on the little guy.
“In 2017, Ben curated a plan to return home to Australia through the production of a worldwide documentary series called Down to Earth with Ben Waddell.
“When 2020 arrived, the devastating blow came and production had to be halted as the shock discovery of a NETFLIX ‘original’ series release called Down to Earth with Zac Efron surfaced. The titles and concepts are identical to Ben’s original idea, even the trailer is made up of scenes and commentaries that have similarities too extensive and specific to be a coincidence.”
Clearly, the Waddell family isn’t too happy, but what about that large sum of money that they’re asking for?
“Ben has commenced legal action against the production company and NETFLIX and I am trying to help him raise funds for this David and Goliath legal battle, as it as already cost him thousands of dollars.
“Anything you can do to help would be unbelievably appreciated, our whole family would be so grateful as the emotional toll this has already taken is substantial – but we know we have a long road ahead.”
Ben Waddell has posted an update on the situation so far, saying that nobody has gotten in contact with him so far about his claims.
If you’d like a refresher on everything that has happened so far, here’s the original yarn we did on Ben suing our boy Zac.
Also, here are the trailers for the two docos, because it is still wild to me how similar they are.