Mario Batali: Fired From ABC’s The Chew Amidst Growing Sex Scandal
The narrative arc of Mario Batali’s fall from grace is one that’s become tragically familiar in recent months.
On Monday, Batali stepped away from his various business ventures following allegations of sexual assault and harassment from several female staffers.
The celebrity chef issued a boilerplate apology in which he accepted blame for his actions, while simultaneously defending himself against the more egregious charges.
As time went on, the accusations against Batali continued to increase in both number and severity.
As more women came forward, the evidence against the 57-year-old food icon mounted, culminating in claims from a former employee who says he looked on in horror as Batali kissed and groped an unconscious woman.
The incident was allegedly captured in footage taken by a security camera.
Yesterday, Batali’s most high-profile employer, the Disney-owned ABC network, announced that it would the chef and restaurateur had been fired from his role as one of the hosts of the daytime, food-focused talk series The Chew.
“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,” said an ABC spokesperson.
“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.”
To many, the news of Batali’s misconduct is sadly unsurprising.
However, to those familiar only with the more family-friendly side of the Croc-clad chef, as presented on television and in social media, the allegations against Batali surely come as a shock.
Within the NYC restaurant scene, Batali had a reputation for crude comments and predatory behavior.
In a scathing New Yorker piece published earlier this week, author Helen Rosner recounts several tales of boorish behavior from Batali that failed to raise eyebrows in the pre-Weinstein era.
“You will eat your pasta or I will rub the shrimp across your breasts,” Batali casually told a friend’s wife at one meal.
At the same meal, the chef reportedly remarked to a waitress, “It’s not fair I have this view all to myself when you bend over. For dessert, would you take off your blouse for the others?”
It remains to be seen if Batali will face any criminal charges.
But whatever his future holds, it appears that the celebrated chef’s kitchen career is now decisively over.
And the world of fine dining is all the safer for it.