‘Great American Baking Show’ Canceled By ABC After Judge Johnny Iuzzini Accused Of Sexual Misconduct
ABC is pulling The Great American Baking Show amid sexual misconduct allegations against judge Johnny Iuzzini.
THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW PULLED AS JUDGE JOHNNY IUZZINI ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Iuzzini, a celebrity pastry chef, is reportedly facing allegations from multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault. In response, the television network is pulling the plug on the baking show, at least for all the recorded episodes that Iuzzini appears in.
“In light of allegations that recently came to our attention, ABC has ended its relationship with Johnny Iuzzini and will not be airing the remainder of The Great American Baking Show episodes,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
Last month, online news site Mic reported that four of Iuzzini’s ex-employees described their work environment with him as “rampant with incidents of sexual harassment.” Iuzzini responded saying the accusation was “inaccurate” and that he feels sorry that the women “did not feel comfortable coming to me as their superior and letting me know how they felt.”
Now Iuzzini has released a statement about the show’s cancellation. “While I understand ABC felt pressured to make this difficult decision, I am extremely disappointed and saddened that the show will not continue to air as scheduled,” he said in a statement to CNN. “I feel terrible for the bakers, fans of the show, the cast and everyone else involved in the production.” In addition, the chef apologized for what he described as “some unprofessional behavior 8-10 years ago,” before adding that “the sexual harassment allegations and many other reports against me were sensationalized and simply not true.”
“My friends, family and those close to me can attest that over the last several years I have worked hard on improving myself and made many positive contributions to the industry in which I dedicated my life,” Iuzzini said. “Nonetheless, I will use this experience as another opportunity in my life to listen, learn and continue growing as a friend, family member, chef, mentor and as a human being.”
Iuzzini is the second celebrity chef to become embattled by sexual harassment allegations this week. Mario Batali left his restaurant business and ABC show The Chew following sexual misconduct allegations. “That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses,” he said in a statement. “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.”