Culture

Pete Evans Posted A Nazi Symbol On Facebook, But Says It Has ‘Many Interpretations’

In a comment pointing out the symbol's significance, Evans wrote he was 'waiting' for someone to notice it.

Pete Evans posts Nazi symbol Sonnenrad to Facebook

Celebrity chef, wellness warrior and QAnon delusionist Pete Evans had a big weekend. First, he declared that COVID-19 isn’t real, despite previously trying to sell $15,000 lamps that would eradicate the virus from your body. Then he posted Nazi iconography on his Facebook page, saying it has ‘many interpretations’.

— This article includes neo-Nazi imagery. —

Amid the backlash over his COVID-19 comments, where critics are calling on companies who work with Evans (such as Coles and publisher Pan Macmillan) to sever ties with him, Evans has doubled-down by posting an image on Facebook which implies that Nazism is an ‘evolution’ of Trumpism.

In the image, a caterpillar wearing a MAGA hat tells a butterfly adorned with a Nazi symbol on its wings, “you’ve changed”. The butterfly replies “we’re supposed to”: Evans captioned the post with the words ‘an oldie but a goodie’ alongside a peace symbol, love heart and rainbow.

The cartoon could be read as either an approval or disavowal of both Trumpism and neo-Nazism, though given Pete Evans’ public endorsement of Trump, it read to many commenters as the former.

The symbol in question is a Sonnenrad, aka the black sun, of which the Swastika is a variation. The ancient symbol was co-opted by Nazi Germany, and the Sonnenrad remains prevalent on neo-Nazi paraphernalia. Recently, it was used on the cover of the manifesto by the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooter, an Australian man who killed 51 people in an act of white supremacy against Muslims.

When users pointed out the Sonnenrad’s significance, Pete Evans admitted he was aware of its meaning, writing, “I was waiting for someone to notice that”.

As of reporting, the Facebook post featuring the Sonnenrad is still up. Evans has since edited his caption to add “There are many different interpretations of this image. Peace and love to all always”, as well as a lengthy reply in which he says he does not “align with” white supremacy, citing his work “celebrating the tribal people of Australia”. You can read it below.

In response to his latest post, commenters are asking ‘what became’ of the celebrity chef, who was dropped by Channel 7 earlier this year after he was fined $25,000 by the TGA for selling a lamp he claimed, completely unfounded, would cure COVID-19.

It’s currently rumoured that Evans will appear on Channel 10’s next season of reality show I’m A Celebrity…, with co-host Julia Morris suggesting he was an obvious fit during a radio interview last week, prompting calls on social media to boycott the show if he’s cast.

QAnon beliefs are inherently tied to anti-Semitism, as it cherry-picks and pulls from a variety of 20th century and ancient conspiracies about Jewish ‘blood libel’ elites — all of which, like all of QAnon’s beliefs, are completely unfounded.

The post arrived just days after Evans appeared in a video interview where he said he ‘chose to not believe’ in COVID-19, aka ‘that narrative’, “because it doesn’t make any sense to me.” He was subsequently called a “fucking idiot” by Melbourne GP and media commentator Dr Vyom Sharma on Saturday.

“I choose not to believe that narrative because it doesn’t make any sense to me’ – that is the literal Merriam Webster dictionary definition of ‘fucking idiot’,” Dr Sharma wrote in a Tweet.

“Einstein’s theory of special relativity makes no sense to me… But I believe the narrative because I know there are people out there who are smarter than me, and know more things. And hence I rely on my GPS when driving.”

Junkee has reached out to Evans, as well as Coles for further clarification on the post.

His publisher, Pan Macmillan, has responded to our query stating:

“Pan Macmillan does not support the recent posts made by Pete Evans. Those views are not our views as a company or the views of our staff.  Pan Macmillan is currently finalising it’s contractual relationship with Pete Evans and as such will not be entering any further publishing agreements moving forward.”

Earlier this year, a Trump campaign ad was removed from Facebook for using Nazi symbols, as per Facebook’s standards against hate speech.