The rival production refused to pay the "compulsive liar"
Hulu appeared to make a power move by blindsiding their competitor with the surprise release of Fyre Fraud just days before the previously announced Netflix documentary of the same topic was set to drop. It has now been reported that the Hulu film's producers went as far as paying the Fyre Festival's infamous creator for an interview. Chris Smith, the director of the rival Netflix film, commented on the ethics that determined their production's decision to refrain from compensating McFarland for an appearance.
“We were aware of [the Hulu production] because we were supposed to film Billy McFarland for an interview. He told us that they were offering $250,000 for an interview. He asked us if we would pay him $125,000. 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 benefitting. 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.”
Fyre Fraud director Jenner Furst confirmed that their production had, indeed, paid McFarland. However, he specifies that amount of $250,000 is incorrect.
“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.”
The Netflix film is also said to have been created in partnership with "Jerry Media (a.k.a. FuckJerry) and the advertising company Matte Projects, two entities that were involved in the failed festival's organization, a collaboration that makes the documentary ethically questionable.