Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has risen to cult status during the pandemic. He’s claimed Tik Tok fame, inspired fan pages and his image has even become immortalised in homewares including mugs and bedsheets.
Amid the uncertainty and gloom of the pandemic, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has become the “silver fox lining”, according to his growing fandom.
While his counterpart, Premier Daniel Andrews has received a mixed reception, Sutton has amassed a large following of aficionados that have dubbed themselves the ‘Suttonettes’.
Plagued with boredom during the second lockdown, it’s clear some Melburnians now have a little too much time on their hands --- plastering Sutton’s face onto mugs, masks, t-shirts, pillows and bedsheets.
Case in point: The ‘Brett Sutton is hot’ Facebook group has attracted almost 8,500 likes and the ‘Brett Sutton fan club’ has burgeoned to more than 2,000 members. Tik Tok has also been swamped with videos of Australians pledging support to the state’s “CHOttie”.
Then there’s the astoundingly NSFW Twitter account ‘120 days of Sutton’, which includes graphic sex fantasies of the Chief Health Officer ala 50 Shades of Grey.
So when rumours swirled last week that he’d resigned, naturally Sutton stans went into an absolute meltdown.
“Please standby to put your Masks Out for Brett,” the administrator of a Brett Sutton fan group wrote on Facebook.
“Might as well have said Nickelback have broken up, same level of middle-aged women would be upset,” another person wrote on Twitter.
But luckily for Australia’s collective entertainment, the rumours were false and Sutton had just taken a few days off.
His reply to the above tweet -- “What?! Nickelback have broken up??” -- only cemented the nation’s love for the public health and tropical medicine expert.
Why is he so popular?
Sutton’s fans say that he’s articulate, calm amid the chaos, and just “seems like a really nice guy”.
The state has rallied behind the CHO and his tireless effort to keep Victorians safe and informed during a pretty bleak time.
In fact, more than 20,000 people have pressed 'attending' for a Facebook event called 'Give the CHOttie a virtual hug!'.
As one person wrote on Facebook: “Brett Sutton has given us all something to look forward to in this stupid pandemic”.
Others say they watch his press conferences on mute and that he’s “ruggedly handsome”, dubbing him “doctor delish”. Which… is not creepy at all...
From posting a seriously 80s photo of himself in his 20s to joking about being grilled by journalists, Sutton has provided a necessary distraction from the melancholy of Melbourne's lockdown.
The video of him showing Victorians how to wear a mask while joking he wouldn’t “do a Greg Hunt” shows just why he’s so likeable.
Now to let the (thirsty) tweets do the talking: