Aaaand there it is. Following Eater's explosive exposé on sexual misconduct allegations against Mario Batali, published earlier this week, ABC has decided to cut ties with its celebrity chef co-host. The network previously said it would conduct its own internal review of the allegations, and today it announced that Batali was fired from The Chew.
The not-shocking news came via a statement from an unnamed ABC spokesperson shared on The Chew's Facebook page for its 1.6 million followers to see.
"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," the statement, embedded below, reads. "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."
In addition to losing his spot as a co-host of the popular daytime cooking show, Batali has also decided to "step away from day-to-day operations" at his other restaurant businesses including Italian food destination Eataly, which has already removed all traces of the scorned chef from its stores.
Batali isn't the only chef to come under fire this week alone. Ken Friedman was accused of sexual misconduct in a jaw-dropping New York Times report on December 15. The NYT article spotlights accusations from 10 of Friedman's former employees and claims his hot spot restaurant, Spotted Pig, had a room known as the "rape room."
Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, an outspoken critic of the sexist culture in the food world, tweeted that "no one should be surprised" about the onslaught of allegations, specifically ones against Batali. He later clarified his comment to Food & Wine, saying, "This is where it starts — with women who are abused telling their stories... What recourse did women have? All of a sudden we’re seeing the recourse. We’re seeing men get fired and losing their power. That’s the recourse. And that's where we have to keep going."
Anthony Bourdain expressed similar sentiments in a heartfelt essay, sharing that, despite previously admiring the Batali and Friedman, he "[stands] unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women" and feels "ashamed" for enabling sexist kitchen culture.
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