“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,” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. “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.”
Season 3 of the competition series, formerly known “The Great Holiday Baking Show,” debuted last week with the second episode originally set to air this Thursday night.
Four of Iuzzini’s former employees spoke with Mic in late November, claiming that the celebrity chef sexually harassed and abused them. One woman, who chose to remain anonymous, claimed that Iuzzini stuck his tongue in her ear “three or four times” on separate occasions. The women also reported that the chef would often use kitchen utensils to suggestively touch female staffers on the buttocks. They also say that he would routinely “stand behind you really closely and breathe on your neck.” On Tuesday, four more women came forward.
Iuzzini is the latest celebrity chef to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct controversy. Earlier this week, Mario Batali stepped down as co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” after he was accused of sexual harassment and groping by multiple women. Batali has also been forced to step away from Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, the restaurant management shingle he runs with Joe Bastianich, and his recently signed deal with the Food Network to produce new episodes of the cooking series “Molto Mario” has been placed on hold.