The most sympathetic figures in the new, competing Fyre Festival documentaries from Hulu and Netflix are the teams of Bahamian workers who worked tirelessly to try and make the event a success, only to be left high and dry with no pay by the festival's organizers. One such woman was Maryann Rolle, the owner of Exuma Point Resort, who was hired to cater the event.
In an emotional interview in the Netflix documentary, Rolle revealed she was never paid for any of her labor.
MaryAnn Rolle, a restaurant owner in the Bahamas, says she’s owed $134,000 from Fyre festival organizers… https://t.co/wMEbqA5n3w— justin michael jerome (@justin michael jerome)1495411034.0
It turns out Rolle had to wipe out her savings, spending around $50k of her own money just so she could pay her staff, who were working around the clock.
Who I really felt bad for were the people on the island who worked day and night for months and then were left with… https://t.co/BLIt4xKQzG— Naomi Rutagarama (@Naomi Rutagarama)1548103282.0
Bahamian Caterers, construction workers, rental car services, home renters, their tourism bureau, and even the loca… https://t.co/6fB3R6FCOP— Naomi Rutagarama (@Naomi Rutagarama)1548103283.0
Maryann Rolle, a restaurant owner who fed construction workers and festival goers on the island, used her own perso… https://t.co/hphtY4t07e— Naomi Rutagarama (@Naomi Rutagarama)1548103282.0
Rolle wrote online:
"It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organizers of Fyre Festival. Back in April 2017 I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1000 meals per day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all prepared and delivered by Exuma Point to Coco Plum Beach and Roker's Point where the main events were scheduled to take place. Organizers would also visit my Exuma Point location to enjoy the prepared meals.
Fyre Fest organizers were also checked into all the rooms at Exuma Point Resort.
As I make this plea it's hard to believe and embarrassing to admit that I was not paid…I was left in a big hole! My life was changed forever, and my credit was ruined by Fyre Fest.
My only resource today is to appeal for help.
There is an old saying that goes "bad publicity is better than no publicity" and I pray that whoever reads this plea is able to assist.
Elvis and Maryann Rolle
Exuma Point Resort
Great Exuma, Bahamas"
"I had 10 persons working directly with me, just preparing food all day and all night, 24 hours," she said in the N… https://t.co/BWLwqSIT2t— Globalnews.ca (@Globalnews.ca)1548104354.0
To help recoup some of the expenses from the disastrous weekend, Rolle started a GoFundMe. Gabrielle Bluestone, a producer of the Netflix documentary, quickly confirmed the GoFundMe was legitimate and spread the word to fans everywhere!
This is the verified GoFundMe to support Maryann Rolle—the Bahamian restaurant owner who lost over $100k in the… https://t.co/v3zdL5YFg5— GoFundMe (@GoFundMe)1547924005.0
Hi everyone! Just talked to Maryann, she confirmed she owns this page and is overwhelmed by all the support and lov… https://t.co/gMdpa9Z2Sn— Gabrielle Bluestone (@Gabrielle Bluestone)1547915756.0
Fans rallied behind Rolle!
Justice for Maryann Rolle. #fyre https://t.co/sgckvyObiG— BG (@BG)1548051474.0
Before long, the GoFundMe had met Rolle's goal of $123k and then some!
In @netflix's #FyreFestival documentary, local caterer Maryann Rolle said she had to use her own savings to pay sta… https://t.co/HvNRpvWdtq— INSIDER (@INSIDER)1548080136.0
The GoFundMe campaign for Bahamian caterer Maryann Rolle who burned through her savings to help her workers after t… https://t.co/MXZCGGF2iJ— Michael Del Moro (@Michael Del Moro)1548105904.0
Some Twitter users wondered if there were similar funds set up for the Fyre Festivals day laborers who were never paid:
It's great that Maryann Rolle of the Fyre fiasco has exceeded her GoFundMe goal. Is there a similar fund or plan in… https://t.co/yiZRkVQAXy— Summer Brennan 🌈👠 (@Summer Brennan 🌈👠)1548084356.0
@thisisinsider @netflix Now how can we help the unpaid workers that worked endlessly to set it up? When will they g… https://t.co/lIwlItKRNo— Meghan (@Meghan)1548119100.0
Many of the documentary's central figures seem to be working on that very issue:
UPDATE: Chris Smith, director of Netflix’s Fyre documentary, has told @BuzzFeedNews that there are plans underway f… https://t.co/7FeaBdyKtk— Scott Bryan (@Scott Bryan)1548103399.0
FYI Mark Musters was the Creative Director for Fyre. Andy King was the Event Producer, who you might know as the “Evian Water” guy.— Scott Bryan (@Scott Bryan)1548103546.0
And Chris Smith on Maryann Rolle reaching her donation target: “It feels great. I gave her my word when I was there… https://t.co/cYnRXMsByB— Scott Bryan (@Scott Bryan)1548103622.0
Two of the largest donors to Rolle's campaign were F*** Jerry and one of its owners, Elliot Tebele. The ad agency was responsible for both advertising the festival and for producing the documentary about its subsequent failure.
Maryann’s GoFundMe just passed the goal. Thanks to everyone who donated! You can keep donating here:… https://t.co/oa3IfbUZTJ— William Needham Finley IV (@William Needham Finley IV)1548036891.0
It seems the F*** Jerry team may be looking to make amends and stay ahead of the narrative, started by the Hulu documentary, that they were complicit in the manipulation of Fyre Festival attendees and workers.
Just gave every dollar my agency earned from the Fyre Festival back to the go fund me. Others should do the same. https://t.co/x7saQiPiGC— Elliot Tebele (@Elliot Tebele)1548038834.0
Regardless, people are happy to see Rolle will get the money she was owed!
Documentaries matter. Glad to see Maryann Rolle is benefitting from all the buzz on the competing Fyre Festival fil… https://t.co/y6yxI3MbZC— Christopher Campbell (@Christopher Campbell)1548082204.0
@MikeDelMoro YES I love when humanity comes through 😭😭😭❤️❤️❤️— Sharon Steed (@Sharon Steed)1548114117.0
@MikeDelMoro Thank god something good. Thank you.— Alexandria Neonakis (@Alexandria Neonakis)1548118189.0
Meanwhile, the festival's organizers continues to face a massive lawsuit, while Billy McFarland, the festival's head honcho, is serving jail time for financial fraud.
Billy McFarland, the founder of the disastrous Fyre Festival in the Bahamas last year, received six years imprisonm… https://t.co/MjXuWAc8fC— Twitter Moments (@Twitter Moments)1539278667.0
What goes around comes around!