On Thursday, Vallery Lomas, winner of The Great American Baking Show Season 3, broadcasted on Facebook Live and addressed the show’s sudden cancellation after sexual misconduct allegations were levied against judge Johnny Iuzzini. ABC pulled the season after airing just two episodes, saying the “season’s winner will be announced at a later date.”
In her broadcast, Lomas said:
I do want to address why you’re seeing me here tonight instead of on your televisions this Thursday. Unfortunately, because of the actions of Johnny Iuzzini, we are not able to broadcast the show as was originally planned. I think it’s very important that we take a moment and we just understand and address the issues of sexual harassment, because this is a pivotal point right now, and the allegations were very serious and I think we all take them very seriously.
As a woman, I have experienced harassment myself. I’ve experienced disrespectful comments, and I know firsthand the pain that those comments and those actions can cause. So, I’m glad that we’re galvanizing behind this issue. This is a women’s rights issue, and it’s important that we take a moment and our society has a moment to heal from this. The actions of Johnny, not only have they hurt the women in the kitchen with him, but it has spread to the other contestants [on GABS], the crew, and myself. His actions have caused us harm, as well, by us not having a chance to continue to share our love of baking with all of you.
It’s interesting, because we just can’t ignore this behavior any longer. It has become commonplace, however it is important that all women — no matter what type of powerful men are around you — that all women have a safe place for our voices and for our bodies. So, I stand with all of the victims of harassment, and I am glad that we’re taking a moment to galvanize around this issue.
Lomas followed her statement with a question-and-answer session, sharing baking tips with fans of the show. However, questions regarding Iuzzini and ABC’s decision to cancel the season were not addressed. A network source tells TheWrap those queries were ignored because “the purpose was to promote Vallery’s success and nothing else.”
In late November, Mic published an investigative report in which four women who previously worked for Iuzzini at New York City restaurant Jean-Georges accused the pastry chef of making sexually explicit remarks and lewd gestures, as well as demanding shoulder massages from female employees at the end of shifts. More women brought allegations against Iuzzini in a follow-up Mic report that ran on December 12. ABC canceled The Great American Baking Show after the second report was published.
Watch the complete statement and Q&A session, which was posted on the show’s Facebook page, below.
Live with Vallery! Winner of season three !Posted by The Great American Baking Show on Thursday, December 21, 2017
• ‘Great American Baking Show’ Undercooks Sexual Harassment Questions in Q&A With Winner [TheWrap]
• Johnny Iuzzini Accused of Sexual Harassment by Four Former Employees [E]
• More Women Accuse Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini of Sexual Harassment and Abuse [E]
• ABC Pulls ‘Great American Baking Show’ Following Johnny Iuzzini Misconduct Allegations [E]