Zac Efron and Netflix given seven days to respond to Down to Earth copying claims

·2-min read

Zac Efron and Netflix have been given seven days to respond to Australian presenter Ben Waddell's claim that they "stole" the concept for show Down to Earth from him.

Waddell has alleged to the Daily Mail Australia that the documentary series, which sees Efron travel around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien to find healthy and sustainable ways to live, is an almost exact replica of the programme he shopped around the U.S. back in 2018.

He failed to get the concept off the ground in America, so decided to return to his homeland to shoot a local version of the programme - the pilot of which he claims Efron and Netflix copied.

After struggling to get hold of Efron, Waddell enlisted the help of local media to "track him down", and issued a legal notice demanding a response to his allegations within the next week.

If the High School Musical star doesn't respond, Waddell is currently in the process of raising funds to be able to take the case to court.

He previously enlisted lawyers to write a letter on behalf of himself and his Ghost Donkey Media production company to Netflix and The Nacelle Company which detailed eight scenes in Efron's programme that he claims "appear to be directly copied" from his own show - adding that the similarities are "too extensive and specific to be a coincidence".

"The concepts are substantially identical as well: Both feature a young, charismatic host travelling around the world and immersing himself in the cultures he visits, in particular exploring how... (they) approach sustainability," the letter read. "Even some of the individual shots that make up the trailer are the same."

Waddell's lawyers sent the letter in September, but had no response, prompting the Australian star to take further action.

Efron is currently filming the second season of Down to Earth in Australia, which Waddell noted was "brutal and gut-wrenching".

Netflix and Efron have yet to publicly respond to Waddell's claims.