ABC has sacked The Great American Baking Show judge Johnny Iuzzini and canceled the cooking competition series amid sexual misconduct allegations against the celebrity chef.
Series Pulled From Schedule
The network confirmed that it was pulling the show from its schedule via an official statement.
"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," said a spokesperson for the network. "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."
The spokesperson added that the current season's winner will be revealed later. The reality series will be replaced by episodes of The Great Christmas Light Fight and CMA Country Christmas this week as well as the next.
The 3-episode Season 3 of the series, which was originally called The Great Holiday Baking Show, premiered last week and the sophomore episode was scheduled to air on Thursday night, Dec. 14.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
This comes two weeks after Mic published an explosive story, in which four former employees who worked under Iuzzini came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the celebrity chef.
The four women claimed that the 43-year-old pastry chef sexually harassed and abused them while they were working for him at a New York restaurant from 2009 through 2011.
One of the women claimed that Iuzzini shoved his tongue in her ear three or four times on several occasions. She also alleged that he would often make use of kitchen utensils like knives, long vegetables and spoons to touch the rear ends of female employees.The women also accused the chef of invading their personal space by standing really close to them and breathing on their necks.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, four more women came forward with new but similar allegations against Iuzzini. Two of the accusers claimed that the management was aware of the chef's inappropriate behavior since 2004 while the remaining two women alleged that Iuzzini misused his position to harass female staffers.
Iuzzini is not the only celebrity chef to have been surrounded by a sexual misconduct scandal this week. Earlier this week, Mario Batali distanced himself from ABC's The Chew in the wake of sexual misconduct and groping accusations by several women.
New reports claim that Batali even had a designated "rape room" in his Spotted Pig restaurant in New York, where he groped and harassed women.