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Mario Batali has been fired as co-host of ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew after women have continued to come forward with sexual harassment and assault allegations against the celebrity chef.
“Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on The Chew,” said a spokesperson. Batali, who has appeared on the food-themed show since it launched six years ago, stepped away after allegations were first published on Monday, with ABC launching a review. “While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment, and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct.”
The editor-in-chief for Eater, which broke the first story of allegations about Batali, said earlier in the week that their investigation was ongoing but that, so far, they had not turned up any complaints relating to Batali’s TV projects. Four anonymous women, three who were identified as former employees of Batali’s, detailed decades of alleged misconduct at the hands of the powerful chef to the publication.
Batali rose to household fame on Iron Chef and the Food Network had planned to revive his original series from the 1990s, Molto Mario, with six episodes in 2018. The network placed those plans on hold after Monday’s allegations.
Batali has since been accused by a total of eight women, with claims ranging from unwanted sexual advances to groping. A former manager of New York City hotspot The Spotted Pig also told the New York Times that the chef was captured on security footage groping and kissing a woman who appeared to be unconscious during a 2008 party at the famed eatery. Another server said Batali was known as “the Red Menace” due to his behavior on the VIP-only third floor of the restaurant, which had come to be known as the “rape room” by industry insiders. (Spotted Pig co-owner, Ken Friedman, took a leave of absence over his own allegations.)
Batali has not denied the accounts and apologized in his latest statement to the Times. He has stepped away from the day-to-day affairs of his restaurant empire and Eataly, the Italian marketplace chain he co-owns, has pulled all of his products from their shelves.
His Chew co-hosts addressed the allegations on Tuesday’s show, after a total of five women had come forward. Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Michael Symon told viewers together: “Yesterday, allegations of past improper behavior surfaced about our own Mario Batali, and ABC asked him to step away from the show while those allegations are reviewed. We want you to know we take these matters very seriously and are committed to a safe work environment. Our commitment to our viewers remains the same — to deliver the entertaining show that you’ve come to expect.”
On Wednesday, ABC also pulled The Great American Baking Show from its schedule after multiple sexual harassment allegations were leveled against one of the show’s judges, Johnny Iuzzini. “ABC takes matters such as those described in the allegations very seriously and has come to the conclusion that they violate our standards of conduct,” said the network in that statement.
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