ABC Cancels ‘The Great American Baking Show’ Season After Johnny Iuzzini Sexual Harassment Allegations
The Great American Baking Show season three is no more.
Last month, Mic reported that four former employees of the show’s judge and celebrity pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini accused him of sexual misconduct. The women alleged inappropriate sexual behavior and verbal abuse.
Broadcaster ABC initially decided to go ahead with airing the third season of The Great American Baking Show, but amid additional accusations published by Mic earlier this week, ABC has pulled the show. Four more women came forward, telling the publication stories of sexual harassment and abusive behavior.
In a statement to CNN, an ABC spokesperson said, “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.”
Iuzzini issued an apology at the time of the first Mic story, but largely denied the accusations, calling them “inaccurate.” He apologized “to those who felt hurt” and promised to “do better and continue to strive to be the type of chef who can lead our industry into a culture of respect through example.”
Following ABC’s decision to pull the show, Iuzzini told CNN that he is “extremely disappointed and saddened” and feels “terrible for the bakers, fans of the show, the cast, and everyone else involved in the production.” He apologized for what he characterized as “unprofessional behavior” years ago, but reiterated that allegations of sexual harassment were “sensationalized and simply not true.”
Iuzzini was a judge on The Great American Baking Show, a spin-off of the popular U.K. series The Great British Bake Off. The show’s third season had premiered on December 7.