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Mario Batali & Business Partner Joe Bastianich Release New Statements In Response To The 'Boys Club' Culture & Latest Sexual Misconduct Claims!

| Filed under: Business BlitzFoodMario BataliControversy

New details surrounding Mario Batali and his business partner Joe Bastianich come out.

Mario Batali isn't the only one getting called out for cultivating a horrible environment for sexual misconduct in his restaurants, but so is his longtime business partner Joe Bastianich.

While we've already reported the celeb chef has stepped aside from his restaurants amid the reports of sexual harassments, there is still much more to know about the B&B Hospitality Group founders!

Related: Mario Shared A Fucking Pastry Recipe With His Apology!

In a new report published by Eater exposing the "boys' club" environment set up by the duo, Joe actually admitted he knew of Mario's behavior, saying he had "heard [Batali] say inappropriate things" to staffers, and that he "should have done more" to stop his partner:

"I'm proud of what our teams accomplish every day, and I've always tried to show respect for them and their work. It pains me that some employees feel differently, and I'm reexamining my own behavior to ensure that everyone I work with feels that respect."

But he also said through a spokesperson that he never witnessed Batali grope an employee, and "never heard" sexual misconduct allegations until the past week. He said the stories "have shaken me to the core."

Joe also apologized because he "didn't devote enough time to the business," and said he would take action so their staff would feel more comfortable opening up as "the central goal is to develop the right culture where employees don't have to file complaints."

Related: Petition Demands Matt Damon Be Cut Out Of Ocean's 8

Meanwhile, a large group of former and current employees — male and female — described some of the troubling behavior seen within the pair's B&B Hospitality Group restaurants!

With some seeing their harassers get promoted or moved to other restaurants within company (referred to as the "B&B shuffle"), others recalled feeling they might be reprimanded or blacklisted for reporting the inappropriate behavior.

In a statement in response, Mario shared he wanted all his employees "to feel comfortable and safe":

"I now realize that my completely inappropriate behavior impacted the behavior of others who worked in the restaurants. I am truly sorry and am very ashamed. It was never my intention to humiliate, cause discomfort or pain to anyone in the operations in any way."

Additionally, B&B Hospitality Group hinted at a restructuring, with Joe's mom chef Lidia Bastianich and Nancy Silverton taking on leadership roles "to help ensure everyone has a safe and positive workplace and to steer our culinary direction." While they do have sexual harassment policies in place, they admitted:

"It has become clear that we need to improve our culture."

There will be senior employees to oversee operations, along with an outside firm surveying staff to "examine the compliance" of their policies:

"We have fallen short in creating an environment where every employee feels comfortable reporting complaints. And we have fallen short at times when enforcing our policies. We are already taking steps to change."

You can read the report in full HERE, especially to get more important details about the specific sexual harassment claims within their restaurants!

[Image via Derrick Salters/IPA/WENN.]

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