Have you watched the Netflix and Hulu documentaries on the #FyreFestival? Did you catch the subtle references to the trafficking of the Bahamian day workers? Our CEO Rochelle Keyhan did. Check out her op-ed at Thomson Reuters Foundation News (excerpt below). It’s time to be bold in the face of that subtlety, and directly condemn human trafficking when we see it.
Time to talk about labor trafficking at the Fyre Festival
Hiding in plain sight beneath the schadenfreude of last week’s Netflix and Hulu documentaries analyzing a wealthy millennial festival going awry is Billy McFarland’s exploitation of Bahamian day workers. While trafficking isn’t always easy to prove, and felonies like money laundering are strong ways to bring consequences, trafficking behavior must at least be part of our conversations and the public consciousness.
Our national attention is focused on the thousands of dollars people readily had available to buy tickets and load onto festival wristbands, while hardly exploring the impact on Bahamian workers who struggle to find employment on a daily basis. Both groups invested their resources in a festival that had no intention of paying them – but who lost more? We need to be as horrified about McFarland’s exploitation of his fellow people as we are about their bank accounts.