In what might be the weirdest beef of 2021, Sir David Attenborough is fighting with an Adelaide shopping centre.
The 95-year-old renowned nature documentarian penned a letter to management at the Tea Tree Plaza in Adelaide after he discovered that they had wrongly associated him with a quote on a mural he never said.
According to the ABC, the quote reportedly said, “In the last five years the bee population has dropped by a third. If bees were to disappear from the face of the Earth, humans would have just four years left to live”. It sat next to a painting of some bees collecting nectar from flowers and was located next to the plaza’s shitter-kicker (toilet).
The mishap was first spotted by local science graduate Heath Hunter, who informed management that Attenborough never said the quote and asked if they’d remove it. A few months later, he went back to the shopping centre and noticed it was still there.
So, he wrote to Attenborough.
“He sent a little letter to me and said thanks for letting me know, and then there was a separate one attached,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.
That letter was directed to the shopping centre’s management. It’s not exactly known what was said in that letter but given Sir David’s polite tone in all of his documentaries, I reckon it was maybe the politest takedown in human history.
“Here we see people in a position of power willingly choosing to ignore facts and stick to fiction,” he wrote, allegedly*.
*Don’t fact-check that.
Hunter added that the letter from Attenborough supposedly didn’t make a dent in his plea to get the mural removed.
“I sent them that about three weeks ago, but they got a call from a journalist yesterday morning and it came down pretty quick,” he said.
Per the ABC, a spokesperson for the Adelaide shopping complex confirmed that the piece of art (and related “quote”) had been removed.
“We appreciate the customer bringing this to our attention,” they said.
“The plaque, including the quote, has been removed.”
To be honest, I don’t see why the mural itself was taken down. I mean, doesn’t that go against the very thing that quote is about?
Sir David Attenborough has yet to publicly comment on this story but the YouTube drama fanatic in me is living for it nonetheless.