Apolitical Guy Fieri Is Suddenly Political

Although it's unintentional, as a photo of him with Donald Trump creates a ruckus online
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2023 10:50 AM CDT
Apolitical Guy Fieri Is Suddenly Political
Guy Fieri in a 2021 file photo.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Generally speaking, celebrity chef Guy Fieri has never been one to mix politics with his food. As Matt Schimkowitz wrote for the AV Club in a 2021 profile, "the vagueness in Fieri's political beliefs has allowed fans to project whatever they want onto him." Which is part of the reason a photo of Fieri with none other than Donald Trump is causing a stir online. Coverage:

  • The event: The men were photographed at a mixed martial arts event in Las Vegas over the weekend, reports NBC News. Trump also was spotted with Joe Rogan, Mel Gibson, and Mark Wahlberg.
  • The blowback: Was Fieri talking politics with Trump? Talking food? Who knows? But as Newsweek reports, that hasn't stopped people on both sides of the Trump divide from weighing in. Trump supporter and Turning Point USA exec Benny Johnson posted a photo celebrating "Trump in Flavor Town," a reference to Fieri's catchphrase. But for every Trump supporter tweeting "My respect for flavortown and Guy Fieri has gone UP!," there seemed to be a counterpoint such as "He just ruined his reputation," per the Independent, which rounds up examples such as those. Another critic wrote, "If I wasn't comfortable being associated with someone like Donald Trump, I sure wouldn't allow myself to be photographed or recorded being chummy with him, shaking his hand, whatever. Fieri must not mind it."

  • Jack White: Maybe the most prominent critic is musician Jack White of White Stripes fame, who castigated not just Fieri but the others with Trump. "Anybody who 'normalizes' or treats this disgusting fascist, racist, con man, disgusting piece of [expletive] Trump with any level of respect is ALSO disgusting in my book," White wrote on Instagram, per USA Today. "That's you Joe Rogan, you Mel Gibson, you Mark Wahlberg, you Guy Fieri. This is a statement from me, not a discussion/debate."
  • A comparison: At the Daily Beast, Laura Bradley is reminded of a different celebrity moment. "The ire surrounding Fieri feels like an echo of something we saw before, when Ellen DeGeneres was photographed palling around with former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game in 2019," she writes. "Then, like now, a relatively benign celebrity's politics have been thrust into the limelight, replacing fans' blissful, comforting ignorance with skepticism."
  • Still mum: So far, Fieri himself hasn't commented on the brouhaha.
(More Jack White stories.)

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