Hollywood (and Beyond) Harassment: December 11

Mario Batali, Ryan Lizza, Dababneh.

Another week, another batch. Here we go again.

Mario Batali

Last night, we heard rumblings that a celebrity chef would soon be added to the list of sexual harassers outed in 2017. The news was delivered this morning when it was announced that Mario Batali has stepped away from the day-to-day operations of his "restaurant empire" in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, and that he will also be absent for the time being from ABC's cooking show The Chew, which he had co-hosted since 2011. Eater New York ran the expose this morning in which four women accuse Batali of inappropriate conduct over the last 20 years. 

In the piece, Batali responded by saying:

I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.


Ryan Lizza

The New Yorker has fired one of their hotshot reporters Ryan Lizza after allegations of sexual misconduct. A spokesman said:

The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct. We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza."

Lizza, however, says that he was in a relationship with the woman and broke violated no policies. He said:

“I am dismayed that The New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate. The New Yorker was unable to cite a company policy that was violated.

“I am sorry to my friends, workplace colleagues, and loved ones for any embarrassment this episode may have caused. I love The New Yorker, my home for the last decade, and I have the highest regard for the people who work there. But this decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake.”

Lizza's accuser's attorney, meanwhile, says:

“In no way did Mr. Lizza’s misconduct constitute a ‘respectful relationship’ as he has now tried to characterize it. Our client reported Mr. Lizza’s actions to ensure that he would be held accountable and in the hope that by coming forward she would help other potential victims.”

Hopefully The New Yorker did their due diligence. It's not helpful to women to have decent men thrown out on false allegations. 

Matt Dababneh

California assemblyman Matt Dababneh announced on Friday that he will be resigning at the end of 2017. The resignation was only four days after he was accused of inappropriate behavior such as masturbating in front of a lobbyist, but he insists he is innocent. “My stepping down isn't out of guilt or out of fear. It's out of an idea that I think it's time for me to move on to new opportunities,” he wrote.