Coles 'in talks' to dump Pete Evans as 10 and Big W jump ship

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Pete Evans has been dumped from his slated role on I’m a Celebrity... Get me Out of Here!, just hours after his publisher promised to sever ties after his next book is released, and now Coles is reviewing his products being sold on their shelves.

The former celebrity chef turned conspiracy theorist had a jaw-dropping past few days between controversial comments seeming to blame Covid-19 patients for their illness, and a cartoon posted to Instagram of a caterpillar in a ‘MAGA’ hat talking to a butterfly with a Black Sun symbol on its wings.

Pete Evans looks alarmed on Nine. Channel 10, pan Macmillan dump Evans
Channel 10 and publisher Pan Macmillan have dumped Pete Evans on the back of a double-whammy weekend of controversy. Photo: Nine

The Black Sun was a symbol used by Nazi SS official Heinrich Himmler who played a pivotal role in the Holocaust and has since become famous as a neo-Nazi and neo-Fascist symbol, notably sported by the Christchurch mosque shooter in March 2019.

He has since deleted the post.

RELATED:

Following the backlash to the cartoon shoppers called for brands like Coles and publisher Pan Macmillan to cease stocking his goods and for Channel 10 to axe his rumoured appearance on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.

He also came under fire for comments about coronavirus casualties responsibility for their susceptibility to the disease, in an interview in which he called coronavirus the ‘bullsh*t virus’.

Now Coles has tentatively joined the exodus, confirming they are reviewing the chef’s simmer sauces that are sold in stores.

In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle Coles clarified that while they stock the simmer sauce range, they do so through a third-party supplier, with whom they are currently in discussions about the future of the brand.

“Coles is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment in which to work and shop,” a spokesperson said.

“We have no direct business relationship with Pete Evans, however, we currently stock a small number of products from suppliers who have licensing agreements with him.

“We have spoken to these suppliers who share our concerns regarding recent statements made by Mr Evans and are in discussions regarding the removal of these products from our range.”

10 drop Evans from I’m a Celeb

Pete Evans appears on Ideas Digest podcast shares theory coronavirus casualties may be responsible for own deaths
Pete made the jaw-dropping COVID-19 comments on Ideas Digest podcast. Photo: Ideas Digest

It comes after Network 10 distanced themselves from Evans, confirming he will not appear on the show in the wake of the controversy.

“Network 10 can confirm that Pete Evans will not be appearing on this season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” the network told Yahoo Lifestyle in a statement.

It’s unclear if the initial rumours were true.

Pan Macmillan and Big W dump Pete Evans books

Pete Evans book 'Dinner in 5' published by Pan Macmillan who dump chef after Nazi COVID comments
Pan Macmillan who published 16 of Pete's cookbooks have also severed ties. Photo: Pan Macmillan

Pan Macmillan has also withdrawn support on the back of deafening outrage on Twitter following Evans’ coronavirus comments and subsequently his Nazi symbol post.

“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,” the publisher said in a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle.

“Pan Macmillan is currently finalising its contractual relationship with Pete Evans and as such will not be entering any further publishing agreements moving forward.

“If any retailer wishes to return Pete Evans' books please contact Pan Macmillan.”

Woolworths was also called over Big W stocking Pete Evans’ cookbooks.

A spokesperson for Big W told Yahoo Lifestyle the retailer has decided to remove his titles from their stores.

“BIG W reviews its range of books regularly to ensure it is aligned with our family values. We have decided to remove Pete Evans’ book titles from the BIG W range from 17 November in line with Pan Macmillan’s offer,” the spokesperson said.

Months of controversy from Pete Evans

The response from brands comes after months of calls for boycotts, ever since the chef began sharing debunked coronavirus theories online, including spruiking a $15,000 light mask as a ‘cure’, before going on to question the virus’ true danger, and calling it a ‘f**king hoax’ in July, and then a ‘bullsh*t virus’ in his podcast appearance last week.

The paleo diet advocate was slapped with a $25,200 fine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration over the lamp claims and he left Channel 7 shortly after.

Pete Evans was contacted for comment but has not responded.

Screenshot of Pete Evans' Instagram response to nazi symbol backlash rainbow heart image
Pete issued a statement. Photo: Instagram/ chefpeteevans

He has since removed the Instagram post, replacing it with a snap of a love heart in rainbow colours, with a caption beneath offering an apology to anyone who ‘misinterpreted’ his post.

“Sincere apologies to anyone who misinterpreted a previous post of a caterpillar and a butterfly having a conversation chat over a drink and perceived that I was promoting hatred,” he wrote.

“I look forward to studying all of the symbols that have ever existed and research them thoroughly before posting. Hopefully, this symbol resonates deeply in the hearts of ALL!”

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.

Or if you have a story idea, email us at lifestyle.tips@verizonmedia.com.