Ah, another week, another Pete Evans scandal… it seems the celebrity chef cops hate as frequently as he posts on Instagram.
Considering the amount of controversy Evans has caused over the years, it can be hard to keep up with exactly how and why he has offended so many of us.
Thus, I have put together this handy guide to help you get up to speed with the latest exceedingly problematic behaviour from Evans.
While Evans has already gotten more than his fair share of airtime, it’s imperative to call out unacceptable conduct from someone with as much influence as he.
Without further ado, here’s exactly why former My Kitchen Rules judge Pete Evans has received so much (deserved) hate of late.
So, it all began one fateful day when Evans logged on to both his Instagram and Facebook pages, of which he has a combined following of 1.5 million people.
From there, he uploaded an image of a cartoon which featured a caterpillar and butterfly sitting together.
Alas, it wasn’t that simple, as the caterpillar was wearing a Make America Great Again hat, while the butterfly had a Black Sun symbol on its wing.
The Black Sun, also known as the sunwheel or sonnenrad, is an Ancient European symbol that has since been appropriated by Neo-Nazis.
It has also been frequently used by right-wing extremists, including the Australian terrorist who murdered dozens of people in Christchurch last year.
Within the picture, the MAGA-hat wearing caterpillar is shown telling the butterfly that they have changed.
In response, the Black Sun-patterned butterfly replied that they are ‘supposed to.’
It certainly appeared that Evans was well aware of the meaning of the butterfly’s pattern, as evidenced by a telling comment to a follower.
When the follower pointed out the Black Sun symbol, Evans replied that he was “waiting for someone to see that.”
Unsurprisingly, the hate and backlash was swift, leading Pete Evans to delete the image a short time later.
From there, he posted a subtly salty apology to people who had “misinterpreted” the picture.
“Sincere apologies to anyone who misinterpreted a previous post of a caterpillar and a butterfly having a chat over a drink and perceived that I was promoting hatred,” he said.
“I look forward to studying all of the symbols that have ever existed and research them thoroughly before posting.”
Unfortunately for Evans, there was no way he was being let off the hook that easily.
Not long after, actor Magda Szubanski took to Twitter to post a response to Evans’ apology.
“Misinterpreted” BullSHIT!! It’s not just the cartoon… check his comments- a friend screen capped this image below,” Szubanski wrote, along with a screenshot of a public comment left by Evans.
As seen in the image, Evans told a follower who mentioned Nazi Germany to “have another look about the true history of Germany.”
— Magda Szubanski AO (@MagdaSzubanski) November 17, 2020
While Evans is the king of deliberately vague language, it is fair to deduce that he is implying people should be sceptical about factual (not to mention horrific) events.
In what comes as a relief to the thousands of people who have been hurt by his content, several of Evans’ associates have finally cut ties with him.
Evan’s long-time book publisher Pan Macmillan Australia has announced that they are “finalising” their relationship and even offered retailers the option of returning Evans’ books.
“Those views are not our views as a company or the views of our staff. Pan Macmillan is currently finalising its contractual relationship with Pete Evans and as such will not be entering any further publishing agreements moving forward,” a statement from the company read.
On top of that, both Dymocks and Woolworths Group (on behalf of Big W) announced they would be pulling each of Evans’ books from their stores.
Social media sponsors including coconut water brand Raw C also quickly dropped Evans, explaining they were “horrified and saddened by the religious and anti-Semitic undertones” of the post.
Perhaps most damningly of all, Evans has also been denied the opportunity to continue appearing on prime time television.
Reportedly, Evans was set to star on the next season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which recently began filming.
Though Network Ten did not confirm if Evans had indeed been cast, they did release a statement emphatically declaring that he would not be part of the upcoming season.
Although it is certainly a consolation to see a slew of businesses condemn Evans, one can’t help but wonder why it took so damn long.
This year alone, Evans, who has reposted QAnon theories, appeared to suggest the coronavirus pandemic was not real.
“I am sceptical, and I also am suspicious,” he told 60 Minutes.
“I could very easily disappear … If I disappear in a weird freakin’ accident, it wasn’t an accident, okay?”
As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, Evans previously left a link in his Instagram bio to an interview with David Icke, who supports the “plandemic” conspiracy theory.
Concerningly, Evans also spruiked a $15,000 light machine back in April that he claimed could assist in treating COVID-19.
His promotion of the product led to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) fining him a cool $25,000.
Evans’ most recent health claims are merely the tip of the iceberg, considering he has spread wellness-related misinformation for almost as long as he’s had a profile.
To name just a few of his dangerous theories, Evans has denounced the use of sunscreen, claimed vaccination should be avoided and purported that dairy can remove calcium from bones.
It’d be far easier to ignore Evans if he was merely shouting into a void, but instead, his messages are being consumed daily by a loyal fan base of over a million people.
Now that the entertainment, publishing and media industries seem to have finally turned their backs on him, we can only hope his legions of impressional followers do the same.
Above all, I’m quietly praying this is the last article I’ll have to write about Pete Evans.