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The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn’t want to reflect on his ‘dark times’

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The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

George Calombaris has spoken about the ‘dark times’ in his recent past, after his TV comeback on The Masked Singer caused controversy.

The former MasterChef judge, whose company admitted in 2019 to underpaying $7.83million in wages to its employees, reflected on the scandal during a radio interview on Wednesday.

‘It was a tough couple of years and they are behind me now,’ the 42-year-old celebrity chef told Mix94.5’s Pete, Matt and Kymba breakfast show.

Comeback? George Calombaris (centre) has spoken about the 'dark times' in his recent past, after his TV comeback on The Masked Singer caused controversy

Comeback? George Calombaris (centre) has spoken about the 'dark times' in his recent past, after his TV comeback on The Masked Singer caused controversy

Comeback? George Calombaris (centre) has spoken about the ‘dark times’ in his recent past, after his TV comeback on The Masked Singer caused controversy

George was asked about the underpayment scandal while addressing the controversy surrounding his role on The Masked Singer.

The father of two said of the backlash: ‘I’ve never been one to read, and I’m not shying away from my dark times, and I’ll use that as education for people in my industry.’

‘Whatever they say on Twitter, I don’t even bother. I just want to create. I just want us to be nice to each other.’ 

Moving on: The father of two said of the backlash, 'I've never been one to read, and I'm not shying away from my dark times, and I'll use that as education for people in my industry'

Moving on: The father of two said of the backlash, 'I've never been one to read, and I'm not shying away from my dark times, and I'll use that as education for people in my industry'

Moving on: The father of two said of the backlash, ‘I’ve never been one to read, and I’m not shying away from my dark times, and I’ll use that as education for people in my industry’ 

Calombaris, who was swiftly replaced as a judge on Channel 10’s MasterChef after the network refused to meet his pay demands in 2019, attracted criticism this week for taking part in The Masked Singer.

After being unmasked as The Duster on Tuesday’s episode, viewers had a mixed response to what they perceived as his attempt at public redemption. 

Several complained that he shouldn’t have been offered a comeback after he was fined $200,000 for underpaying 515 staff between 2011 and 2017.

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One person tweeted: ‘George Calombaris doesn’t deserve to be back on our TVs.’ 

Another wrote:  ‘Noooooooo sorry George Calombaris Too SOON sorry we have NOT forgotten or forgiven maybe try reputation rehab on the ABC.’  

Return: After being unmasked as The Duster on Tuesday's episode of The Masked Singer, fans had a mixed response to what they perceived as George's attempt at public redemption

Return: After being unmasked as The Duster on Tuesday's episode of The Masked Singer, fans had a mixed response to what they perceived as George's attempt at public redemption

Return: After being unmasked as The Duster on Tuesday’s episode of The Masked Singer, fans had a mixed response to what they perceived as George’s attempt at public redemption

A third added: ‘Channel 10 what are you doing putting him in another one of your shows’. 

‘I hope George didn’t get paid for this appearance… bit of a double standard otherwise,’ a fourth tweeted. 

Another commented: ‘Where was the clue about not paying your workers?’

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'

Complains: Several complained that he shouldn't have been offered a comeback after he was fined $200,000 for underpaying 515 staff between 2011 and 2017

Complains: Several complained that he shouldn't have been offered a comeback after he was fined $200,000 for underpaying 515 staff between 2011 and 2017

Complains: Several complained that he shouldn’t have been offered a comeback after he was fined $200,000 for underpaying 515 staff between 2011 and 2017

Yet another said: ‘Shame on you @Channel10AU for bringing George Calombaris back to TV on The Masked Singer.

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‘Way to sprinkle salt into the wounds of hospitality staff, especially during NSW and VIC lockdowns.’

In 2019, the chef made headlines after he was found to have underpaid his restaurant staff by nearly $8million.

Scandal: In 2019, the chef made headlines after he was found to have underpaid his restaurant staff by nearly $8million

Scandal: In 2019, the chef made headlines after he was found to have underpaid his restaurant staff by nearly $8million

Scandal: In 2019, the chef made headlines after he was found to have underpaid his restaurant staff by nearly $8million

He was fined for underpaying 515 staff between 2011 and 2017 and will have his business audited for the next three years.  

At about this time he was also axed from MasterChef alongside co-judges Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston after they demanded a pay rise.

They were replaced by Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong. 

Out: At about this time he was also axed from MasterChef alongside co-judges Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (centre) after they demanded a pay rise

Out: At about this time he was also axed from MasterChef alongside co-judges Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (centre) after they demanded a pay rise

Out: At about this time he was also axed from MasterChef alongside co-judges Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (centre) after they demanded a pay rise

The Masked Singer: George Calombaris says he doesn't want to reflect on his 'dark times'Source

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