If you thought the wave of high-profile sexual misconduct cases was going to slow down by this time — you were mistaken.
In light of reports about the alleged behavior of previously powerful figures such as movie producer Harvey Weinstein, seemingly countless women — and men — have felt empowered to come forward with their own stories.
Every day seems to bring new allegations against someone else, which can make it difficult to gauge the authenticity of all the claims or even to keep track of what each person is accused of and by whom.
Not everyone comes out to defend himself or address allegations — but those who do either vehemently stand by their presumed innocence, or they give a long diatribe in which they actually admit some guilt.
Weinstein’s response to allegations of assault and harassment was perhaps the most bizarre. The producer denied any illegal activity, but acknowledged he had taken part in behavior he regretted. He chalked it to how he came from a “different” time.
Then, in a bizarre attempt to distract from allegations that included rape, he went political and vowed to fight the NRA — people didn’t buy it.
Actor Kevin Spacey gave Weinstein a run for his money with his own response to an allegation of pedophilia when he used his “apology” to officially come out as a gay man — something many pointed out was already a known fact and simply a move to twist the ensuing headlines in the actor’s favor.
Spacey, too, admitted the allegation could be true but stopped short of confessing.
Now joining the ranks is celebrity chef Mario Batali, who has recently faced a series of sexual harassment allegations from previous employees. As a result of the accusations, Batali has been let go from his show on ABC, “The Chew.”
“Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him, and he will no longer appear on ‘The Chew,'” an ABC spokesperson said in a statement, according to Deadline. “While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously, as we are committed to a safe work environment, and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct.”
What did not work in Batali’s favor was a public apology — sent out in the form of an email to his newsletter subscribers.
“As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior,” he wrote. “I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility. Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you — my fans — I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.”
He added, “I will work every day to regain your respect and trust. –mb.”
The most confusing part, though, was Batali’s mention of a recipe. “Ps. In case you’re searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite,” he wrote — and then shared the recipe.
A public apology for alleged sexual misconduct seems like a really bad place to be sharing cinnamon roll ideas — but hey, after the public responses by Weinstein and Spacey, Batali’s seems almost normal.
People have, of course, pounced on Batali’s statement. For the record, cinnamon roll recipes just don’t seem to distract very well from the subject at hand.
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PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected]