A news editor at a major Australian network has dressed-up as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and performed ‘Zig Heil’ salutes at colleagues in a bizarre protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Channel 10 staff in Melbourne were horrified when the young news editor appeared in their South Yarra office dressed in full military uniform.
The man, who Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to name, had his hair parted to one side and sported a the distinctive moustache worn by the Nazi monster.
A news editor at Channel 10 in Melbourne spent the day dressed up as Adolf Hitler while protesting COVID-19 lockdowns in April
Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler performs his ‘Zig Heil’ salute. A Channel 10 editor believed it would be a laugh to dress up like him and go to work
Terrified staffers were forced to spend the day with a colleague dressed-up as Adolf Hitler
Sources have told Daily Mail Australia that at least one high-profile presenter was so terrified upon seeing the news editor that she fled the building.
Others could hardly believe their eyes as the freelance news editor proudly performed the Nazi salute.
On Tuesday, Channel 10, which is American owned by CBS , continued to back the news editor, who it continues to employ on a casual basis.
Channel 10 publicity manager Paula Lucarelli said the staffer ‘intended no offence’.
‘On one occasion in April, the appearance of a casual staff member raised concerns among some staff,’ she said in a statement.
‘While no offence was intended, coming to work dressed in a way that upset other staff members is not acceptable.
‘The matter was formally addressed with the individual on the day. He has not since presented or conducted himself at work in a manner that has led to any further complaints. Network 10 reserves all rights.’
Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission – Australia’s leading civil rights organisation – Dr Dvir Abramovich said the act could not be defended.
‘The face of pure evil has invaded the workplace of modern day Australia, and although some may try dismiss or minimise this indefensible and indecent act, here is nothing that can be said to justify this repugnant display of antisemtism,’ he said.
Daily Mail Australia has been told the editor came to work dressed as Hitler in a bizarre protest against Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ COVID-19 lockdowns.
The incident happened on April 2 – nearly two months before the death of African American George Floyd sparked the Black Lives Matter movement – amid Victoria’s first wave of coronavirus restrictions.
It was a day after one of Melbourne’s biggest hospitals revealed a COVID-19 cluster in its cancer ward had claimed the life of a third patient, bringing the then national toll to 24.
A 10 insider told Daily Mail Australia the editor worked his entire shift dressed as the German dictator.
Channel 10 news presenter Jennifer Keyte (left) and Michael Felgate during the Network 10 Melbourne Upfronts 2020. Keyte is based in the Melbourne office
Hitler Dress-up Disasters
2005: Prince Harry was forced to apologise after his appearance at a fancy dress party dressed in a Nazi costume complete with swastika armband
2011: A British MP who went to a bucks party where guests dressed as Nazis was sacked
2013: A boy was sent home from a Staffordshire school after his Hitler costume was deemed inappropriate for a second world war fancy-dress day
2019: Furore erupted when a group of young people dressed up as Nazis and went shopping at a Coles supermarket in Melbourne
The headteacher of a school in the United States was suspended after one of their pupils was allowed to march in the school’s Holloween parade while dressed up as Adolf Hitler
2020: A man dressed as Adolf Hitler caused anger as he rode around in the sidecar of a Nazi-era motorcycle during a weekend festival in Germany
A BP refinery worker in Australia was sacked for parodying the company in a well-known Hitler meme. He later won his job back in court
Brazil’s Culture Secretary Roberto Alvim was sacked by President Jair Bolsonaro after posting a video in which he appeared to copy a speech by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels
He returned the next day as though nothing had happened.
‘He was protesting us becoming a communist state or some kind of s**t.’
Shocked staffers within the Melbourne office said their complaints to management about the man’s behaviour had been ignored.
‘How a freelancer can turn up at a place of employment dressed as a Nazi and be allowed to waltz back in the next day like nothing has happened is beyond me,’ an insider said.
The editor has worked practically full-time within the Melbourne office over the past two years and has earned praise from managers due to his quick turnaround of breaking news reports.
‘He’s a f**kwit,’ an insider said.
Daily Mail Australia has been told Channel 10’s Melbourne operation manager Nick McKenna was made fully aware of staff concerns about the editor.
‘He should have made sure he never came back,’ an insider said.
The editor appears to have weathered the initial storm and continues to carry out regular work at the network.
Instead, management at the network’s Sydney head office has conducted it’s own investigation into who leaked the matter.
‘A witch hunt is on for the whistle blower,’ a source said on Monday. ‘So they wanna sack people for calling out a Nazi.’
Daily Mail Australia has also received a letter from Channel 10 threatening legal action should it publish this article.
Dr Abramovich said the Jewish community was owed an apology by Channel 10.
‘This not Nazi Germany, and I am sickened to the stomach by this beyond obscene incident which will shock the conscience of every person,’ he said.
‘Make no mistake: there is nothing funny or amusing about dressing up as brutal monster responsible for the extermination of six million Jews and millions of others, including 1.5 million children.
Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission – Australia’s leading civil rights organisation – Dr Dvir Abramovich has condemned Channel 10 for defending its editor
Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is estimated to have murdered about six million Jews during World War II. A Channel 10 employee thought it would be a laugh to dress up as him and come to work
‘This individual crossed so many red lines that I stopped counting, and they should pay a heavy price for this immoral act which is spit on the grave of every digger that died to defeat Hitler, as well as a kick in the guts of Holocaust survivors living amongst us.’
Dr Abramovich said it ‘beggared belief’ how anyone could show up for work dressed as ‘history’s most evil monster’.
‘At a time of escalating antisemitism in our nation, this vile worship and celebration of Hitler will be rightly viewed by many as an endorsement of violence and murder, and a call for a world without Jews,’ he said.
‘In dealing with this chilling incident and with this employee, I call on Channel 10 to do some serious soul searching, to reflect on the values that guide them and to do the right thing. We are all owed an apology.’
Jewish Community Council of Victoria president Jennifer Huppert told Daily Mail Australia the editor’s behaviour showed a lack of understanding of what Hitler represents.
‘It’s very offensive to many Australians to spend the day dressed as Hitler. Obviously it’s offensive to members of the Jewish community, but it’s also offensive to the broader Australian community,’ she said.
Ms Huppert described the network’s response as ‘unusual and unexpected’.
‘I’d be very disappointed that an employer wouldn’t see that this would be offensive to other people and the workplace,’ she said.
Ms Huppert said wearing the uniform glorified a monster.
‘It’s glorifying Hitler, it’s glorifying Nazism and that really has no place in society,’ she said.
‘It trivialises history and what Nazis did,’ Ms Huppert said of the supposed political protest.
Just last month, Channel 10 was quick to call out a ‘disturbing and inaccurate’ article that made a racist and false attack on Waleed Aly.
The Project’s Waleed Aly was defended by 10 when he was linked to a false racist news article later deemed ‘fake news’
‘There is not one ounce of truth to this report. It’s a complete fabrication under the guise of ‘satire’ and it’s abhorrent,’ The Project tweeted at the time.