22 years after the film ‘The Beach’ starring Leo DiCaprio was made, it seems like 20th Century Fox is finally made to pay for its ecological sins.
Accused of destroying Maya Bay
This comes after Thailand’s Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling for the Royal Forest Department to resume rehabilitation works on Maya Bay, an idyllic beach on Ko Phi Phi Leh in southern Thailand, reported Vice.
It also upheld a 2019 agreement which would require the plaintiffs and two film production companies — 20th Century Fox and Thai film studio Santa International Film Productions to fork out 10 million baht (RM1,233,133.75).
The Guardian reported that 20th Century Fox was accused of destroying Maya Bay by uprooting local plants and replacing them with coconut trees in a bid to give the film a more “tropical feel”.
However, the US production studio flatly denied the claims, saying that it had left the beach as it was and removed all rubbish from the location.
In 1999, a lawsuit was filed against Thai government agencies, 20th Century Fox and Santa International Film Productions along with 10 million baht in compensation.
‘The Beach’ — Cinematic & ecological disaster
Aside from legal woes, ‘The Beach’ was also a cinematic disaster on all fronts for 20th Century Fox.
It earned DiCaprio a Raspberry Award and currently ranks as Danny Boyle’s worst movie yet.
As for Maya Bay, Thai authorities were forced to close it off to tourists for an indefinite period of time in October 2018 to let it ‘heal’ from ecological damage following an influx of close to 6,000 visitors daily.
It was reopened in early 2022 but the number of visitors has been capped to prevent further ecological damage.