On Friday morning, after reviewing recent sexual misconduct allegations, ABC announced that Mario Batali would no longer serve as a co-host on daytime cooking show The Chew. An ABC spokesperson said in a statement, "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. 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."
ABC's announcement comes after Eater published a report on Monday, which detailed four women's alleged accounts of sexual misconduct committed by Mario Batali over the past two decades. A day later, The Chew's other co-hosts, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, and Michael Symon announced on air that ABC planned to review the allegations. The co-hosts told their viewers, "Yesterday, allegations of past improper behavior surfaced about our own Mario Batali, and ABC asked him to step away from the show while those allegations are reviewed. 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." Since then, The Washington Post has published an additional woman's claim that she was touched inappropriately by the celebrity chef in 2010.
After his alleged sexual misconduct was brought to light, the chef announced that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from his business, Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, which manages over 24 restaurants, many of them owned by Batali.
With the consequences handed down by ABC this morning, Mario Batali becomes one of several celebrity chefs and restauranteurs to recently be held responsible after accusations of sexual misconduct, proving that "The Weinstein Effect" continues to take hold in the food industry.
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