A controversial podcast featuring celebrity chef Pete Evans has been pulled after listeners complained its contents were potentially harmful.
Wellness podcast Well & Good with Art & Matilda was forced to pull the conversation with the former My Kitchen Rules star following hefty criticism from fans and followers after Evans openly and explicitly called the global response to the pandemic a ‘hoax’.
“I think it’s a hoax,” he said on the program. “I think this whole f***ing thing is a hoax.”
“Not COVID, but this whole pandemic ... that we have shut down the world. Do you want your kids to go to school wearing a f***ing mask? It’s ridiculous.”
The podcast, run by former Bachelor New Zealand stars Art Green and Matilda Rice was forced to pull the episode after an influx of positive and negative reactions left them concerned that the ideas posed a significant potential for harm.
Matilda took to Instagram with a statement from the pair explaining their decision on Friday morning.
“Yesterday we released a podcast with Pete Evans and have been overwhelmed with feedback, both positive and negative,” the statement shared with her 171,000 followers read.
“Our Well & Good podcast is about offering different views, thoughts and perspectives around health, wellness and happiness. We interview a wide range of guests, offering many different views, philosophies and beliefs.
“Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t, but the point of our informal chats is to hear from different perspectives, encouraging listeners to think and learn and feel empowered about their health.
“While we feel that Pete offers some great insight into nutrition, we have had a large amount of feedback from the public that some of his other opinions and views on health have the potential to cause harm.”
Initially, the couple defended their decision to invite Pete onto the podcast, with Matilda telling stuff Stuff Co New Zealand she thought the former TV personality had been ‘unfairly victimised’ and that their conversation wasn’t harmful in any way.
Their sudden backflip comes after criticism flooded social media following the podcast’s publication.
Pete axed from My Kitchen Rules, slammed over health conspiracy theories
It’s been a rollercoaster few months for Pete who was slammed after he appeared on 60 Minutes to extrapolate upon his ‘alternative’ theories regarding the coronavirus, including a statement that he would not ‘trust’ a vaccine should one be released.
Evans went on to release an unedited two-hour version of the interview to his followers on YouTube at the exact time Nine ran the episode, in a direct snub of the network and what he called a bid to avoid what he predicted would be a heavy editing hand used on his footage by the network, and his appearance was slammed as ‘dangerous’ by experts and viewers.
The star was axed from My Kitchen Rules this year, following a $25,200 fine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration over the claim that a $15,000 lamp was a potential coronavirus treatment online.
The chef has courted a string of controversies in the past, including claiming ‘most sunscreens are dangerous’ despite Australia’s dangerous skin cancer rates and advising parents to feed newborn babies bone broth, but has ramped it up this year.
In June, the chef shared a video of President Donald Trump declaring his intention to quash the Black Lives Matter protests and riots with ‘all federal resources, both civilian and military’.
The chef captioned the video with a love heart emoji, seeming to endorse the president’s response, a move that angered many fans of the chef. He gave no further indication of his view on the situation, simply stating he was ’sharing information that may not be seen on normal channels’.
Trump’s speech was broadcast by mainstream media and has been made widely available online.
The US protests initially broke out after footage of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a police officer who knelt on his neck for eight minutes began circulating online.
The officer in question, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with murder.
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