Celebrity chef Pete Evans is being abandoned by sponsors and businesses amid the outrage sparked after he shared a Nazi-aligned meme on his social media.
Big W, homewares retailer House and Raw C coconut products are among the latest to distance themselves from Evans, who has a history of backing conspiracy theories and unproven treatments.
The latest controversy began when he shared a post showing the Black Sun symbol on the wing of a seated, black butterfly.
The symbol is closely associated with Nazi Germany. It featured on the floor at a German castle that Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler transformed into a cult site used to instil hateful ideologies into the minds of SS officers.
It also appeared on the backpack of the Christchurch mosque shooter.
When a Facebook follower commented that “the symbol of the butterfly is a representation of the black sun”, Evans wrote back “I was waiting for someone to see that”.
The since-deleted post sparked outrage, with GP and medical commentator Dr Vyom Sharma offering a simple: “f—ing unreal”.
In a statement on Tuesday, Woolworths said Evans’ books would no longer be sold at Big W.
“Big W reviews its range of books regularly to ensure they’re aligned with its values,” they said.
“It has decided to remove Pete Evans’ book titles from the Big W range from 17 November in line with Pan Macmillan’s offer.”
Pan Macmillan, Evan’s long-time publisher, cut ties with the former My Kitchen Rules host on Monday night, saying it did not support his recent posts and that it was ending their contractual relationship.
“Those views are not our views as a company or the views of our staff,” the company said in a statement.
“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 Macmillian.”
Bookstore Dymocks was one of the first to follow, announcing on Twitter it would remove Evans’ books from its website. It said it had “advised our stores to return their stock as offered by the publisher”.
Network Ten, which had just announced Evans as the host of its upcoming I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! series, also came in for criticism.
“Absolutely not, Channel 10,” musician Ben Lee tweeted. “No airtime for a guy who is using his platform to brainwash and radicalise his audience.”
By Tuesday, the network had read the room:
“Network 10 can confirm that Pete Evans will not be appearing on this season of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!,” a Ten spokesperson said.
Woolworths said its supermarkets had no direct commercial relationships with Evans. It does stock Raw C coconut products.
“This association ended earlier this year and Raw C product labelling is being updated. This will take a few months to flow through to the stock in our stores,” the company said.
On social media, Raw C said it was “horrified and saddened” by Evans’ post.
“There has been a pattern of behaviour by Mr Evans over the past year that has led to Natural Raw C taking steps to disassociate with him both personally and as a brand,” it said.
“We will take immediate action to fast track any remaining references that may cause further hurt or impact to our Raw C community.”
Woolworths’ rival Coles also confirmed it was planning to dump products endorsed by Evans.
Earlier on Tuesday, House confirmed it would remove Evans’ merchandise would from its shops nationwide.
“House has recently been made aware of social media posts and comments by Mr Pete Evans which are completely contrary to our values,” a statement read.
“In our view, the images and views expressed by Mr Evans are reprehensible, unacceptable and offensive.
“House will immediately remove the Pete Evans branded products online and will be discontinuing the range in store.”
Evans has since apologised for his post, saying people had “misinterpreted” the photo.
“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 wrote on Facebook.