Don’t expect to see things get heated on “The Great American Baking Show” this season.
According to PEOPLE, ABC pulled the holiday baking competition from the lineup in the middle of season three harassment allegations were made against judge Johnny Iuzzini.
“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 said in a statement to the publication. “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. Episodes of ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ and ‘CMA Country Christmas’ will take its place this week and next.”
Iuzzini was accused by four former employees last month of harassment and inappropriate behavior while working between 2009 and 2011 at Jean-Georges restaurant in New York’s Trump International Hotel and Tower. He was accused of being “verbally abusive and prone to screaming.” Three former employees speculated that he may have had a drug problem, and one claimed she witnessed him using cocaine during off-hours. He was also accused of touching female employees’ buttocks with kitchen items including spoons, vegetables and knives.
“He would stand behind you really closely and breathe on your neck,” one accuser told Mic. “I think he did things to make people uncomfortable, and to see what he could get away with.”
A second chef claimed he would say, “If I hit you with my hand, it’s harassment, but if I hit you with an object, it’s a mistake.”
Iuzzini denied the second wave of allegations in a statement, saying, “I am shattered and heartbroken at the thought that any of my actions left members of my team feeling hurt or degraded. More importantly, I am deeply sorry to those who felt hurt.”
In the wake of the allegations, four more women have come forward with claims against Iuzzini. He said that the new accounts from these women are “simply untrue.”
“I am truly disheartened at the thought of anyone being hurt from my past actions,” he said. “However, there is a difference between accepting responsibility for my immaturity and allowing false claims and accusations to be reported.”
Allegations against Iuzzini come just days after fellow celebrity chef Mario Batali was accused of sexual misconduct in an article published on Eater. Batali has since stepped down from the day-to-day operations of his restaurants but still remains the owner of many of the establishments. ABC said they asked Batali to step away from “The Chew” as they “review the allegations that have just recently come to [their] attention.”