Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fyre Festival's graphic designer left the country because "nobody abroad knows about Fyre"

Illustration for article titled Fyre Festival's graphic designer left the country because "nobody abroad knows about Fyre"
Photo: Netflix

There’s some palpable tension between Netflix and Hulu over their competing Fyre Festival documentaries, with both parties decrying the ethical implications of the other’s approach. The good news, however, is that, ethics aside, both are compelling, thoughtful, and funny as hell.


There is one marked difference between the two, though, and that’s Oren Aks, a graphic designer who, along with his employers at Jerry Media, helped roll out the failed festival’s social media campaign. Aks is a key figure in Hulu’s Fyre Fraud, asserting that Jerry Media, the outfit of internet personality FuckJerry, knew far in advance that things weren’t going as planned and, as such, should be held accountable. If you’re wondering why he’s not saying the same thing in Fyre, well, that’s because Jerry Media served as producers on the Netflix documentary, which, unsurprisingly, offers them a much kinder edit. See? Ethics.

Aks’ account drew sympathy from a number of Fyre Fraud watchers, including Chrissy Tiegen, who inquired as to his current whereabouts on Twitter. Well, per a new interview with Page Six, he’s living overseas because “nobody abroad knows about Fyre.” 

“It took me about a year to come to terms with what happened,” he continued. “I was under the radar for like a year. I was like so depressed with myself and couldn’t believe what I’d done. I felt like I’d birthed like a satanic child.”

Aks tells Page Six that he worked with Jerry Media for another six months after the fallout, but began to suspect that the company was trying to “bleed” him out. He also heard about a potential documentary, but, in his words, “nobody wanted to have me involved.” He added, “It was all just insulting and kind of weird.”

He’s still going to watch the Netflix doc, though. “I believe in seeing and hearing everybody out,” he said. “I want to know obviously like are they talking shit and lying? Is there something that I don’t know somehow? Is there like something that I should worry about? I’m still scared somebody’s going to come after me. I don’t need lawsuits on me like I’m just trying to live.”

And that’s been hard enough with the festival’s residual stink obfuscating his talent. The challenge, he says, is figuring out “how to present” his Fyre work without it summoning dystopian images of cold cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents.


Um, maybe tell them it was for a different Fyre Fest?

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.