beef by Claude J. Easy January 15, 2019
It’s Fyre Fraud (Hulu) versus Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix).
In the epic streaming content battle, Hulu has one-upped Netflix and released their own Fyre Festival documentary. What’s the most savage? Hulu dropped it at the same time the review embargo for the Netflix doc was lifted.
Which one sounds like the hottest documentation of the biggest failure of all time? Hulu’s Fyre Fraud does have one over on the Netflix documentary and that is an exclusive interview with the Fyre Festival fraudster himself, Billy McFarland.
Deeming it a “true crime comedy,” Hulu puts the Fyre Festival on blast. Besides the exclusive interview with McFarland, who has been convicted of fraud and sentenced to six years in prison, the doc examines the stories of ticket-holders and whistleblowers as well.
Hulu surprise dropping its Fyre Fest documentary today, mere days before Netflix was set to drop its own, is the level of aggressive pettiness I'm here for pic.twitter.com/hROF7C6HqV
— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) January 14, 2019
In a statement, Fyre Fraud directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason spoke on including McFarland and how the con-artist got ahead in the dark age of FOMO and digital influencers. They said,
“McFarland’s staggering ambition metastasized in a petri dish of late-stage capitalism, corporate greed, and predatory branding, all weaponized by our fear of missing out. Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.”
Although Hulu beat Netflix to the drop, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, which premieres on Jan. 18, is said to have kept a tighter focus and has juicer details surrounding the fraudulent festival.
Described as “a first-hand look into the disastrous crash of Fyre as told by the organizers themselves, Netflix might’ve dived deeper than the Hulu doc.
It honed in on the Fyre Festival’s origins as a promotional event for a talent booking app, questioned the festival’s organizers, and discovered the true victims weren’t rich kids who could afford to go but the local Bahamian employees that were never paid.
Even though there is no interview with McFarland, in Netflix’s Fyre doc, curious viewers will truly see how this venture unraveled and became the extraordinary criminal event it did.
Lowkey, according to an interview with the Ringer, Fyre director Chris Smith said McFarland claimed to have been offered $250,000 by Hulu. Continuing his fraudulent legacy the con-artist pitched $125,000 exclusive deal with Netflix. Smith declined.
Even after McFarland dropped the price to $100,000, the Fyre director couldn’t do it after spending time with people whose lives were negatively impacted by their experience at the Fyre festival. “It felt particularly wrong to us for him to be benefiting,” said Smith.
Smith told the Ringer,
“It was a difficult decision but we had to walk away for that reason. So then he came back and asked if we would do it for $100,000 in cash. And we still said this wasn’t something that was going to work for us.”
Co-director of Fyre Fraud Jenner Furst denied that they gave McFarland anything close to the amount of $250,000 and admitted that the production paid McFarland for licensed behind-the-scenes footage and consent to an eight-hour interview. Furst told the Ringer,
“I can’t tell you the amount but what I can tell you is that if you printed [$250,000], that would be a lie. That was not the amount. It was less than that. I don’t know why Chris [Smith] is quoting him that way. We both made a film about the same person. We know the person is a compulsive liar.”
Regardless of content streaming beef, documentary drop dates or guap received by a con-artist for an exclusive, the most important benefactors are the viewers and what they think.
We know the numbers will reveal who really documented the Fyre Festival best.