The website Eater reported that four women have come forward with allegations of groping and other inappropriate behavior while working for Batali. The allegations stretch back at least two decades.
In a statement, Batali told Eater that he apologized “to the people I have mistreated and hurt.” ABC said it was reviewing the allegations and had asked Batali to step down from “Chew.”
“We have asked Mario Batali to step away from ‘The Chew’ while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention,” an ABC spokeswoman said. “ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment. While we are unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with the show, we will swiftly address any alleged violations of our standards of conduct.”
Batali also recently inked a deal with Food Network to produce new episodes of his signature cooking series “Molto Mario” for the first time since 2005. Food Network had no immediate comment on the status of that project.
Batali has also been forced to step away from Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, the restaurant management shingle he runs with Joe Bastianich, another TV foodie known for his stint on “MasterChef.” Batali and Bastianich said it would bring in an outside firm to investigate any additional claims that arise.