Powerful lobby group threatens Channel 7 over Pete Evans

Pete Evans has come under fire for supporting an anti-vaccination podcast and while it’s not the first time the MY KITCHEN RULES host has courted controversy, this could be the straw that breaks the camels back now that an influential group that targets advertises is getting involved.

Pete Evans is a controversial figure who also happens to host one of Australia’s most successful shows. My Kitchen Rules has been a force to be reckoned with over 10 seasons and Evans has seen off his fair share of negative headlines. He co-authored a cookbook containing paleo recipes for babies, voiced a documentary claiming the ketogenic diet could alleviate asthma and autism and claimed a brand of alkaline water would increase bone density. The SMH reports that last claim was found to be in breach of the food and beverages advertising code.

Channel 7 has never wavered in its support of Evans over fears of messing with the ratings blockbuster he co-hosts, but My Kitchen Rules is no longer the powerhouse it once was and his latest headline-making support of an anti-vaxx podcast could prove his undoing.

In response to the post by Evans on Facebook, the lobby group Sleeping Giants Oz issued a stern warning to Channel 7 today via twitter saying;

“Dear @Channel7 if you renew Pete Evan's contract for #MKR 2020 we will haunt your advertisers, the comment sections & send this picture over & over. Anti-vaxxers are a danger to children and should NOT be given a national platform to promote themselves.”

With 17.7k followers and a canny knack for targeting advertisers, the threat is not to be taken lightly. Segments on Sky News that would have slipped under the radar have been brought to light by the group and led to advertiser boycotts and presenters being dismissed.

Sleeping Giants Oz has ruffled the feathers of Sky News so much there have been multiple editorial segments targeting the group. In November last year Rowan Dean, host of Outsiders, took the extraordinary step of threatening legal action against those who accuse him of racism and the like and just this month presenter Andrew Bolt described their actions as “terrorism”.

Pete Evens has always been a controversial figure, but the success of My Kitchen Rules has protected him. But things are different this time. MKR is not the powerhouse it once was and on Tuesday hit an all time low of just 662,000, almost beaten by programs on the ABC.

So without ratings to protect him, will Pete Evans be back next year? Watch this space…