Following more sexual misconduct allegations against pastry chef/show judge Johnny Iuzzini that surfaced earlier this week, ABC has announced it will pull the current season of The Great American Baking Show from its schedule, Variety reports.
Iuzzini was a judge in all three seasons of the stateside Great British Bake Off spinoff. Since late November, eight women have come forward with sexual misconduct and abuse allegations against Iuzzini, most of the incidents stemming from his time as pastry chef of New York City restaurant Jean-Georges.
In a statement to Variety, the network says: “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. This season’s winner will be announced at a later date.”
ABC had garnered criticism by not quickly responding to sexual misconduct allegations against Iuzzini that were first reported on November 29, one week before the show’s Season 3 premiere. At the time, four former Iuzzini employees outlined to Mic conduct that included unwanted touching, lewd comments, and verbal abuse; in Mic’s original reporting, representatives from ABC declined to comment. ABC also did not respond to several Eater requests for comment. The show premiered on schedule.
On Tuesday, four more women came forward alleging sexual misconduct by Iuzzini, including one incident stemming from Iuzzini’s time as a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts.
Those new allegations came just one day after New York City chef Mario Batali announced he would step away from his restaurant empire following admitted sexual misconduct. In response to the Batali allegations, ABC asked Batali to step away from his hosting role at its daytime talk show The Chew “while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention,” as it told Eater NY.
In a taped segment that aired on Tuesday, Batali’s Chew co-hosts directly addressed the decision, with co-hosts Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Michael Symon saying: “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.”
ABC’s decision about Baking Show appears to be a recent one: As recently as nine hours ago, it was still running Facebook promotions for an upcoming episode. But the news is just the latest development as television networks scramble to figure out what to do with their chef-stars in the wake of harassment reporting. In addition to getting dropped from The Chew, Batali’s planned Molto Mario reboot has been put on hold. New Orleans chef John Besh, who’s been accused of harassment by more than 20 women, has been edited out of an upcoming episode of Top Chef: Colorado and was dropped from New Orleans public television.
• Johnny Iuzzini Accused of Sexual Harassment by Four Former Employees [E]
• More Women Accuse Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini of Sexual Harassment and Abuse [E]
• John Besh Gets Edited Out of ‘Top Chef: Colorado’ [E]
• Food Network Freezes Plans to Release New ‘Molto Mario’ Episodes After Sexual Misconduct Allegations [E]