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ABC Pulls "The Great American Baking Show" After Judge's Sexual Harassment Allegations

Have you been tuning into this season of The Great American Baking Show? Viewers will be disappointed that they won't get any more of the hit reality show after accusations of sexual misconduct have arisen with one of the judges of the show.

Season 3 of the competition series debuted last week with the second episode set to air. Formerly known as The Great Holiday Baking Show, the reality show had celebrity judges to evaluate the baking creations.

The show was a spin-off to the famed UK series The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood served as a judge with Johnny Iuzzini on the American version.

Celebrity pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini, is reportedly facing allegations from multiple women accusing him of harassment and abuse.

"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 in a statement to Variety. "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."

So what are the allegations?

Four of Iuzzini's former employees who worked for him from 2009-2011 in the pastry kitchen of Jean-Georges restaurant in New York City claimed that the celebrity chef had sexually harassed and abused them.

The women spoke with Mic in late November, claiming that the chef would use kitchen utensils suggestivly and touch female staffers on the behind. One woman claimed that he stuck his tongue in her ear "three or four times" on separate occasions. They also recalled instances where he would "stand behind you really closely and breathe on your neck."

In response to the story, the chef identified the accusations as "inaccurate" and expressed regret that the women "did not feel comfortable coming to me as their superior and letting me know how they felt."

After the allegations were made public, four more women came forward. None of the sources were identified by name, however.

That's when ABC decided to pull the show off their schedule.

"While I understand ABC felt pressured to make this difficult decision, I am extremely disappointed and saddened that the show will not continue to air as scheduled," Iuzzini said in a statement to CNN on Thursday. "I feel terrible for the bakers, fans of the show, the cast and everyone else involved in the production."

Iuzzini make a statement of apology for what he described as "some unprofessional behavior 8-10 years ago," before adding "the sexual harassment allegations and many other reports against me were sensationalized and simply not true."

He went on to defend his character.

"My friends, family and those close to me can attest that over the last several years I have worked hard on improving myself and made many positive contributions to the industry in which I dedicated my life," Iuzzini said. "Nonetheless, I will use this experience as another opportunity in my life to listen, learn and continue growing as a friend, family member, chef, mentor and as a human being."

Iuzzini is the latest celebrity chef to be entangled in a sexual misconduct controversy. Earlier this week, Mario Batali stepped down as co-host of ABC's The Chew after he was accused of sexual harassment and groping by multiple women.

What did you think of The Great American Baking Show? Share with us in the comments.

Source: Variety / CNN / Mic