Sexual harassment allegations against MasterChef's judges have been flying around the Internet all weekend, stemming from a blog post written by ex-season four contestant Marie Porter (she and her mango-mojito upside down cake were eliminated in episode two). This is not the first time MasterChef has been accused of sexism. Porter says two of her friends from the show have "had suicidal thoughts" since leaving the set, "as a result of the treatment out there." Another was "sexually harassed by the judges to the point that she had her lawyers get her edited out of the show completely."
Apparently those are "just the ones she know[s] of," and that there were more female contestants that were "treated in a sexist, degrading manner" by the show's judges. It is unclear which of the judges — Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot — she is talking about. She writes:
[T]wo of my MasterChef friends have had suicidal thoughts since coming back, as a result of the treatment out there. One friend was sexually harassed by the judges to the point that she had her lawyers get her edited out of the show completely. (As part of it, one of the judges told her that the only way he'd have an appreciation for her is if he was looking at her naked body!). Two of my friends were physically assaulted – one by production, one by a judge.
Of the incidents I mention, there is no crossover – these are all unique individuals. They're not alone, either – I know of a few other women who were treated in a sexist, degrading manner by the judges? and all of these incidents that I mention are just the ones that I KNOW of. Many have been dealing with depression as a result of the experience.
Everything Marie says is absolute truth. While I do not want to be a part of this snafu...I have moved on from my bad MC experience.... Marie is reporting facts. I witnessed it.
Until someone breaches the likely very airtight contract MasterChef requires its contestants to sign, the world is just going to have to refer to the official statement Shine America (the show's production company) gave to the Design Times:
Contestants on MASTERCHEF are treated with the utmost respect and professionalism and we care tremendously about their well being. The recent comments posted about the treatment of contestants are completely without merit.
· MasterChef' Harassment Claims By Contestant True? [International Design Times via Jezebel]
· Marie Porter MasterChef Recap [Celebration Generation]
· All MasterChef Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Food TV Coverage on Eater [-E-]