3 Jul 2020

David Farrier takes on influencer culture

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:35 pm on 3 July 2020

Influencer culture is dangerous and needs to be burnt to the ground, writes journalist David Farrier in a recent essay.

In the piece, Farrier turns his attention to Art and Matilda Green - winners of The Bachelor who now run a paleo food business and host the podcast Well & Good.

In a recent episode of the Greens' podcast, which has now been taken down, Australian wellness guru and chef Pete Evans referred to Covid-19 as a "f**king hoax".

Matilda and Art Green

Matilda and Art Green Photo: Instagram

Australian chef Pete Evans

Australian chef Pete Evans Photo: YouTube screenshot

Soon after the couples' interview with Evans began, he quickly changed the subject from wellness to the Covid-19 response, Farrier says.

"[He was laying out] these big, very silly ideas that [Covid-19] is a hoax and the government's trying to control us and it's ridiculous we have to wear masks and that kind of thing."

Art and Matilda let Evans monologue on the subject and Matilda even encouraged him, saying, "Nothing you've posted has been crazy or unhinged. It's all taken out of context and it's all sensationalised."

After the episode was met with controversy, the Greens took it down and posted an apology on their individual Instagram pages.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A post shared by Art Green (@art_green) on

But since then, Art has been 'liking' comments on the post which say they shouldn't have had to take the Pete Evans interview down, Farrier says, effectively agreeing with everyone who suggests they're being wronged or shut down.

Art and Matilda are not journalists or scientists, he writes in the essay, but having an audience means they also have a kind of social responsibility.

The couple should have put Evans' claims into context for their audience, Farrier tells Jesse Mulligan.

"If you want to sell your paleo products that's one thing, but [it's another thing entirely to] use your giant platform and your loyal listeners to promote these very dangerous, very silly ideas."

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