Chef Mario Batali Leaving ABC’s ‘The Chew’ Amid Sexual Harassment Claims
Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside as co-host of ABC’s The Chew. At least four women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, of which Batali acknowledges “much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted.”
Eater first reported the four anonymous women who described “inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades,” including incidents that took place when Batali was intoxicated at parties. Batali was also reported for inappropriate behavior in the workplace two months ago, after which management says the chef “was reprimanded and required to undergo training.” Batali now claims to be “stepping away from the day-to-day operations of his businesses for an unspecified period of time,” and ABC has asked him to leave The Chew “while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention.”
Batali also issued a statement acknowledging his culpability:
I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.
I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.
I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time — my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans — I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.
It’s also worth noting that Batali is the second major recent exit from ABC’s The Chew, after co-host Daphne Oz departed the series in September. Batali’s statement likely forces ABC’s hand, but stay tuned for the latest details on the series in the meantime.
Check Out 100 TV Facts You May Not Know!