Success! Target Pulls Sexual Assaulter Mario Batali’s Products From Shelves

Once-revered chef Mario Batali is now better known for allegations of sexual assault than for his cooking prowess. At least nine women have stepped forward to accuse Batali of sexual misconduct — and, according to Eater magazine, the pattern of inappropriate touching has gone on for at least 20 years.

Once again, the women subjected to harassment have not spoken out before now for fear of reprisals by the famous chef. After all, Batali wields enormous power in the restaurant industry — or at least, used to. Even now, many of them have only spoken up on the condition of anonymity.

Batali did not deny the allegations last December, and he stepped away from the day-to-day operation of his 26 restaurants. He was also fired from ABC’s “The Chew.”

Yet Target continued to sell his products.

Disgusted by this, the Care2 team created a petition calling on Target CEO Brian Cornell to stop selling Batali’s cookbooks and other branded products.

Over 17,000 Care2 members signed the petition, adding comments such as:

Mario Batali has preyed on fellow human beings. By carrying his products, Target is saying that they condone these actions. I will not shop at a store that stands by the side of a sexual predator.

Success!

In a major victory, Target has agreed to pull from its shelves any products that carry Batali’s name — mostly cookbooks and jarred pasta sauces.

Congratulations to all the Care2 activists who signed on to make sure that Mario Batali pays for his sexual misconduct.

Not only has Target made this announcement, but Zidian Group, which manufactures Batali’s sauces, announced that it’s “working to transition [its] products away from the Batali brand.” 

And CEO Tom Zidian stated that Batali has agreed to give up all the profits from the sale of his products and instead donate them to a nonprofit organization “that empowers and advances women.”

Ongoing Investigation

In a new development, we learned this week that the New York Police Department has launched a criminal investigation of Batali.

CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired interviews on May 20 with former female employees of The Spotted Pig, a restaurant Batali had invested in and visited frequently.

Here’s a sample of Anderson Cooper speaking with Trish Nelson, a former waitress at The Spotted Pig:

“Nelson: He would ask to wrestle with me. He would try to grab me. He’s a monster.

Cooper: Really? A monster?

Nelson: I think Mario Batali’s a monster. He has been lauded as this incredible chef and this leader. But behind the scenes he’s hurtful and he does not respect women.

Cooper: And you’re saying this based on your personal experience?

Nelson: Yes, Yeah.”

You can read the rest of the interview here, but be warned that it is graphic and disturbing.

As a result of this criminal investigation, Batali’s company announced on May 22 that they were cutting all ties with him.

Another misogynist bites the dust.

Care2 petitions make a difference and you can be part of the Care2 community by creating your own petition around an issue that concerns you. Start by checking out these guidelines  and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: USDA/Flickr

35 comments

Marie W
Marie W29 days ago

Thank you for posting.

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman5 months ago

THANKS

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JoAnn P
JoAnn Paris5 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Denise D
Denise D6 months ago

Thank you for posting this article.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

th

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

never heard of him. Time women chefs were promoted.

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Shirley S
Shirley S6 months ago

A great result !

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Lesa D
Lesa D6 months ago

grazie Target!!!

thank you Judy...

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Kate G
Kate G6 months ago

great!

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Freya H
Freya H6 months ago

Thanks, Target! On the other hand, though, Heather B and John C have a good point - innocent until proven guilty. We as a society definitely need to crack down on sexual harassment, but we shouldn't let this crusade degenerate into a McCarthy-esque witch hunt.

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