ABC has pulled The Great American Baking Show after sexual harassment claims surfaced against show judge and master baker Johnny Iuzzini. A rep for ABC gave a statement to the Hollywood Reporter to explain why The Great American Baking Show was shut down so fast.
The Great American Baking Show Canceled After The Iuzzini Scandal Broke
“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. 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.”
The third season of the show, previously known as The Great Holiday Baking Show, just started airing last week and was a spin-off of the popular U.K. series The Great British Baking Show that featured judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
But this isn’t the first sexually related scandal to hit The Great American Baking Show. In the first season of the show, Paul Hollywood, the then-married judge from the British version of the show, was judging with Mary Berry when he started an affair with the show’s host, Marcela Valladolid. Hollywood left the show when his wife found out but had returned for the current season to judge with Johnny Iuzzini.
Women Claim That Johnny Iuzzini Sexually Harassed Them At Jean-Georges
According to Variety, the first women, employees of Iuzzini, came forward in November claiming that Johnny Iuzzini had sexually harassed and abused them at work. One woman said that Iuzzini would come up behind her at work and put his tongue in her ear. She claims he did this approximately four times on separate occasions.
Others all said that Johnny Iuzzini would routinely touch female employees on the behind, and stand very close to women at work, breathing on their necks. Yesterday four more women came forward to say they too had been sexually harassed and abused by Johnny Iuzzini.
According to Mic, the women allege the sexual harassment took place when they worked under Johnny Iuzzini at the New York restaurant Jean-Georges. After reviewing the initial claims from the women, Johnny Iuzzini denied some of the claims but apologized for others with verbiage that sounded very similar to that of other men recently accused of sexual misbehavior.
Johnny Iuzzini Released An Apology
“Many of the other allegations are inaccurate, others I do not recall and none were meant to hurt people.”
Yesterday, four more women came forward to say that Johnny Iuzzini routinely sexually harassed female subordinates, abusing his power. Iuzzini read the complaints of the women who came forward yesterday, and said they are untrue.
“I am truly disheartened at the thought of anyone being hurt from my past actions. However, there is a difference between accepting responsibility for my immaturity and allowing false claims and accusations to be reported.”
When asked to comment on the Johnny Iuzzini allegations, Jean-Georges said that while employee welfare is something he takes seriously, he hesitates to comment on a current or former employee, especially one from 13 years ago like Iuzzini.