Mario Batali is the latest name to fall as a result of the ongoing story involving sexual harassment in the work place. This time around, ABC has, per a report from Eater, has asked the chef and restaurateur to step away from The Chew following multiple charges of misconduct spanning two decades. None of these accusations seem to stem from his time working on the daytime show, but an investigation is underway.
In a statement, Batali did not deny some of the charges that were put against him:
I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. 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.
I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.
In the midst of the #MeToo movement the restaurant industry has been hit; Batali is not the only famous chef to step away from their food empire. John Besh, a famed chef from New Orleans, stepped down earlier this month after multiple women accused him of harassment. The morning / daytime television format has also been marred by harassment allegations, with Charlie Rose being removed from CBS This Morning while Matt Mauer was fired from The Today Show.
The long-term future of Batali may be assessed at a later date, but in the midst of these allegations we have a hard time imagining him returning. This is a time when employers need to send a strong message that behavior of this type from anyone will not be tolerated.
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