Competing Fyre Festival Documentaries Being Released on Netflix and Hulu in the Same Week
Just when it seemed like the controversy surrounding the Fyre Festival was long over, the failed music event is making headlines again
The Fyre Festival ended in a dramatic fashion, but who knew the release of documentaries about the failed event could be just as chaotic?
Just as Netflix prepared to release its documentary “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened" about the disastrous music festival that took place in the spring of 2017, Hulu launched its own version just days ahead.
“Fyre Fraud” was released on Hulu Monday morning and includes an exclusive interview with festival creator Billy McFarland, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to wire fraud charges related to the event.
Chris Smith, the director behind Netflix’s film, said the company knew about Hulu’s release strategy ahead of time but wasn't worried about it.
"We knew it was coming and I brought it up with Netflix and it just wasn't an issue to them," Smith said, in an interview with Business Insider.
Netflix’s master plan is to continue focusing on their Friday release, emphasizing their subscriber base, which is more than 5 times more than that of Hulu, Business Insider reported.
Furthermore, Smith told The Ringer that his Netflix doc didn’t include an interview with McFarland because the company didn’t believe it was right for McFarland to profit more from the event.
“He told us that [Hulu was] offering $250,000 for an interview. He asked us if we would pay him $125,000,” Smith told The Ringer. “And after spending time with so many people who had such a negative impact on their lives from their experience on Fyre, it felt particularly wrong to us for him to be benefiting. It was a difficult decision but we had to walk away for that reason.”
But Jenner Furst, who co-directed the Hulu film, denied Hulu paid $250,000 for the interview, claiming McFarland is “a compulsive liar.” He did admit to The Ringer, though, that Hulu had paid for the interview.
Furst also pointed out Netflix’s film was produced in partnership with Jerry Media, which ran social media strategy for Fyre Festival even as it became clear the event was a grand failure.
“I feel like there’s a bigger ethically compromised position, and that’s going and partnering with folks who marketed the Fyre Festival and were well aware that this was not going to happen as planned,” Furst claimed. “To me, I think it’s a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black.”
Netflix denied that its partnership with Jerry Media added bias to its documentary. Jerry Media executives have not returned InsideEdition.com's repeated requests for comment.
Meanwhile, both filmmakers seemed to agree that the blame for the disastrous ordeal ultimately lies on McFarland, who promised millennials a high-end party experience on an exclusive island in the Bahamas with luxury beach-side accommodations, gourmet foods, celebrities like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner and the hottest music acts.
Attendees instead were met with cheese sandwiches in Styrofoam boxes and disaster relief tents, and they eventually fled the island on emergency flights.
McFarland was sentenced last October to six years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding investors. He apologized during his sentencing and said he acted based on his "fear of letting everybody down. McFarland added that he "made decisions that were a slap in the face to everything my family tried to teach me."
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