Zac Efron is pretty much an adopted Australian now, having set up house in Byron Bay and jetted around the country to film various projects.
(He’s currently in Melbourne shooting scenes for his documentary project Down to Earth with Zac Efron.)
Now it seems he’s bringing his family along for the ride, with his younger brother, Dylan, 29, touching down in the country at the end of February.
Dylan will be working as a producer on the doco. But his entry into the country ruffled some feathers.
How was he allowed to enter, when there are still 40,000-odd Australians stranded overseas, waiting for a ticket home?
The answer is $2 million.
The question went as far as politics to get an answer, with Labor’s home affairs spokesman Kristina Keneally quizzing Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram about the exemption at a hearing in Canberra on Monday.
“It really set off a number of Australians who couldn’t get home for dying relatives,” Senator Keneally said.
“Stranded Australians were very angry about Dylan Efron.”
Mr Outram assured the senator (and the rest of the country) that Dylan did not take up hotel quarantine space that could have been used by a returned traveller.
(Hotel quarantine spots have been pegged as one of the hold-ups to getting Aussies back home. TND reported this week that some high-flyers have been paying their own way to avoid hotel quarantine, possibly allowing them to get into the country quicker.)
Mr Outram said Dylan was allowed into the country because it has been forecast by the New South Wales government that the series will inject $2 million into the country’s film industry.
“The exemption was granted on the basis of the applicant having critical skills and was supported by the NSW government,” he said.
“[Dylan’s] arrival was not included in NSW flight caps and did not impact on the number of Australians that could return.”
Zac’s Down to Earth series two started filming in Australia a couple of weeks ago.
But not without a hiccup.
An Australian documentary maker by the name of Ben Waddell has come out to claim that Netflix and Zac stole his series idea.
He’s now in the process of crowdfunding some cash to sue them both.
Waddell says he filmed a series of the same name and similar concept in 2017.
He says he didn’t approach Netflix directly to buy his project, but that he spoke to enough names in the entertainment industry that someone could have nabbed his idea and up-cycled it.
Waddell and Zac’s trailers are below, for your judgment.