Vallery Lomas, the winner of Season 3 of “The Great American Baking Show,” addressed the show’s sudden cancellation after allegations of sexual harassment against one of its judges, Johnny Iuzzini, in a Facebook Live video Thursday.
“It’s important that we take a moment — our society has a moment to heal from this because the actions of Johnny, not only have they hurt the women that were in the kitchen with him, but it has spread to the other contestants, the crew, and myself,” Lomas said. “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.”
The third season of the baking series was canceled just one week after its Dec. 7 premiere when four additional women came forward to accuse Iuzzini of sexual harassment in mid-December. The pastry chef had already been accused by four of his former employees of harassment and abuse in a report from Mic a few weeks prior.
“Unfortunately, because of the actions of Johnny Iuzzini, we are not able to broadcast the show as was originally planned,” Lomas explained.
She continued that she could relate to the women who came forward on a personal level, having experienced harassment and “disrespectful comments and…the pain those comments and actions can cause” firsthand.
“The show being pulled — it was a small road bump and if that’s something that I have to shoulder and the other contestants have to shoulder so that we can stand around this issue and make sure that this is something that gets addressed and that women in this country and in our society have safe spaces, then that’s something we gladly bear,” she said.
Rather than airing the remaining episodes, “The Great American Baking Show” posted a minute-and-a-half-long video to its Facebook page showing highlights of Lomas’ time on the show and ending with her winning the contest.
ABC released a statement at the time of the show’s cancellation, which reads, “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. 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. This season’s winner will be announced at a later date. Episodes of ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ and ‘CMA Country Christmas’ will take its place this week and next.”
Based on the U.K. predecessor’s format, “The Great American Baking Show” was set for a three-week run on ABC. Celebrity chef Paul Hollywood, who also judged “The Great British Baking Show,” assessed the bakers alongside Iuzinni, with Ayesha Curry and Spice Adam hosting.