ABC has confirmed it will pull The Great American Baking Show from its upcoming schedule as a response to recent sexual harassment allegations against one of the show’s judges, Johnny Iuzzini.
An award-winning pastry chef, Iuzinni, 43, was initially accused of sexual and verbal harassment by four women while working at the New York restaurant Jean-Georges.
“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,” an ABC spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“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 said. “This season’s winner will be announced at a later date.”
The cooking show, previously known as The Great Holiday Baking Show, only recently began its third season, with the second episode scheduled to air on Thursday. Instead, ABC will air episodes of The Great Christmas Light Fight and CMA Country Christmas in its place this week and next.
The Great American Baking Show, which was inspired by the hit British series The Great British Bake-Off, was hosted by Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry, and former NFL star Anthony “Spice” Adams.
Allegations against Iuzzini include claims he repeatedly stuck his tongue in a woman’s ear, grabbed female employees’ bottoms using cooking utensils, as well as habitually screaming and being verbally abusive. A four women came forward with stories of alleged misconduct on Tuesday.
Iuzinni previously dismissed the claims as “completely untrue.”
“I am truly disheartened at the thought of anyone being hurt from my past actions,” he said, according to Mic. “However, there is a difference between accepting responsibility for my immaturity and allowing false claims and accusations to be reported.”
On Monday, it was also revealed that the celebrity chef Mario Batali would step away from daily operations at his restaurant as well as his role on another ABC cooking show, The Chew, over a series of sexual misconduct allegations.