The ABC daytime cooking show has officially parted ways with Batali, following multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against the celebrity chef. Food Network has also nixed plans to produce new episodes of the show that made him a TV star, “Molto Mario.”
Earlier this week, Batali was asked to step away from “The Chew,” while ABC reviewed allegations of groping and inappropriate behavior stretching back at least two decades, which was published by the website Eater.
“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,'” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement, provided to Variety on Friday. “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.”
There’s no word yet on whether ABC will replace Batali with a new host.
Without Batali, “The Chew,” at present, is currently hosted by Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Michael Symon, who have been on the show alongside Batali since its launch in 2011, along with Daphne Oz, who departed on her own terms ahead of the current seventh season. Since the allegations against Batali were published on Monday, Hall, Kelly, and Symon have been filming as a trio.
Since the allegations surfaced, ABC has taken swift action to rid Batali’s presence from the network with photos of chef already removed from “The Chew’s” social media pages and ABC’s press site.
Batali, one of the most prominent celebrity chefs of all time, has also been forced to step down from his restaurant management company, Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, which he ran with fellow TV chef, Joe Bastianich. Food Network has also put on hold plans to relaunch the cooking show that made Batali a star, “Molto Mario,” after just inking a deal last month to revive the series.
In a statement provided to Eater earlier this week, Batali did not deny the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. “That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses,” he said. “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.”
Batali issued a further apology for his past actions via a newsletter Friday, writing, “I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.”
He stated that he would “work every day” to regain the trust and respect of his fans, without which he “would never have a forum in which to expound” on the “joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality.”
Bizarrely, Batali included a postscript that reads “in case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite,” and a link to the recipe.