Culture

Pete Evans Dumped By ‘I’m A Celebrity…’ And Publisher After Posting Nazi Symbol To Facebook

He was reportedly due to begin filming in a few hours.

Pete Evans dumped by 'I'm A Celebrity...' and publisher after posting Nazi symbol to social media

Following public fallout over his decision to post a Nazi symbol to Facebook, which he claims has “many interpretations”, Pete Evans has been dropped by his cookbook publisher Pan MacMillan and let go from Channel 10’s I’m A Celebrity…, while he was reportedly in quarantine pre-production.

On Sunday, the celebrity chef-turned-QAnon conspiracist posted to Facebook and Instagram a cartoon featuring a caterpillar wearing a MAGA hat telling a butterfly with the Nazi symbol Sonnenrad that it had ‘changed’: the butterfly responds to say, ‘you’re supposed to’.

He originally captioned it with the words ‘an oldie but a goodie’ alongside emojis of a rainbow, peace sign, and love heart.

The Sonnenrad, aka the black sun, is an ancient symbol co-opted by Nazis (of which the Swastika is a variation). It routinely appears on neo-Nazi paraphernalia — most prominently, it featured on the cover of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooter’s manifesto, an Australian man who killed 51 people in an act of white supremacy against Muslims.

The cartoon could be read as either a support or disavowal of Trumpism and neo-Nazism and, given Evans’ vocal support of Trump, it read to many as the former.

As per his own follow-up, Evans suggested he was aware of the Sonnenrad’s significance, replying to a commentator who offered that context by saying he was ‘waiting for someone to notice’ what it was.

On Monday morning, after widespread criticism, Evans edited his original caption to note that there were “many different interpretations of this image” and added a lengthy reply stating he does not “align with” white supremacy, citing his work “celebrating the tribal people of Australia”.

The post was later removed, as per Facebook’s standards against hate-speech.

In a further follow-up, Evans posted a picture of a rainbow heart to Facebook offering a “sincere apology ” to those who “misinterpreted” his post, adding, “I look forward to studying all of the symbols that have ever existed and research them thoroughly before posting”.

Subsequently, he has been dropped by cookbook publisher Pan MacMillan, who posted a statement to social media on Monday afternoon that they are “currently finalising” their contract with Evans, and invited any stockist who wished to return his books to contact them.

Dymocks has also given a statement saying they are removing Evans’ books from sale, and would be returning their stock, and Big W has followed suit (as per a statement to News.com.au). Homeware store HOUSE has also severed ties to Evans, saying it will remove any of his merchandise from their stores.

On Tuesday, trade website TVBlackbox confirmed that Evans had been in pre-production quarantine for Channel 10’s I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, and was dropped from the cast due to the post mere ‘hours’ before shooting was to begin. In a statement, Channel 10 has confirmed Evans will not feature on the show.

He had been rumoured but not publicly confirmed to feature, after Celeb… co-host Julia Morris hinted as much during a radio interview last week. There were already calls to boycott if he was on the show before he posted a neo-Nazi symbol online, given his long history of making unsubstantiated and scientifically disreputed claims.

Just last week, Evans suggested that COVID-19 wasn’t real, despite in April trying to sell a $15,000 lamp that “cured” COVID-19, which saw Channel 7 sever ties with the former My Kitchen Rules judge.

Coles, who Evans also works with, has not yet made a statement. Junkee has reached out for comment.