The Bachelor NZ star Art Green has hit out at online trolls and media misrepresentation as his food company seeks a $1 million funding rescue from shareholders.
On The Project NZ's Tuesday episode this week, Green appeared with his Riot Foods co-owner and chief executive Ryan Kamins.
The fiancé of Matilda Rice says feedback has been largely positive over his current business woes, but he has faced vitriol over the internet.
"There are some things that get twisted in the media - I do think there's that notion of the tall poppy mentality around New Zealand, which is really disappointing," said Green.
"Anyone with a public profile, people try and cut them down."
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Riot Foods is in financial trouble after facing "significant challenges" with its Ascot Rd production factory in Auckland.
"It's very difficult," said Kamins on The Project NZ.
"Especially when you've got 160 shareholders that have your details and they call you up, concerned."
Kamins did say that he'd had "overwhelmingly positive" feedback, rather than investors complaining about having to hand out "good money after bad", as Jesse Mulligan put it.
He did concede that the company's troubles could be very dire, however.
"Worst case scenario? I don't want to think about it," said Kamins.
"It'd be me digging holes for the rest of my life trying to pay people back."
Riot Foods was founded in 2014 by Mr Kamins and Mr Green, a year after the flagship food brand Clean Paleo was set up. Other food brands, such as Poppy and Olive, were later acquired by the company in 2017.