In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations that came to light in December 2017, Mario Batali has officially begun divesting from his restaurants, The New York Times reports. The scorned chef, restauranteur, and former host of ABC's The Chew initially announced plans to "step away from day-to-day operations" at Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, but as of April 2018, he's stepping away financially as well.
Batali's business partner, Joe Bastianich, told The New York Times, "The process of his divestiture is going really well considering how complex it is. The real point of beginning will be when he departs from the company. That’s ground zero. It’s about creating a post-Mario world."
Batali hasn't released a statement about the move himself.
However, some people in the industry — including Parts Unknown's Anthony Bourdain, whose girlfriend, Asia Argento, was one of the first victims to speak out against Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein — are hoping to see Batali step even further away from the limelight. Bourdain thinks he should "retire and count yourself lucky."
He elaborated to The New York Times, saying, “I say that without malice, or without much malice. I am not forgiving. I can’t get past it. I just cannot and that’s me, someone who really admired him and thought the world of him."
Batali's products have already been scrubbed from Eataly, and considering his pending divestment, it's safe to say they won't likely be returning.
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