New York, NY– Renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay is known to be tough as nails. When contestants choose to appear in one of his various competition cookery shows, they expected to be verbally berated by the accomplished chef and other judges on the show. What they don’t expect is to be sexually harassed or physically abused, but that’s exactly what some contestants say the witnessed or experienced.
Marie Porter, who made the cut on the current season, began to talk about the rampant abuses of “MasterChef” judges and staff on her personal blog, according to RadarOnline.
Porter claims that two of her fellow contestants and friends have “suicidal thoughts” because of their treatment on the show.
“One friend was sexually harassed by the judges to the point that she had her lawyers get her edited out of the show completely. As part of it, one of the judges told her the only way he’d have an appreciation for her is if he was looking at her naked body! Two of my friends were physically assaulted, one by production, one by a judge. … I’m beyond disgusted … I’m livid,” Porter wrote.
Reps for the show say Porter’s claims are without merit, but her friend Carrie Stevens, the woman who asked to be edited out, says the allegations are true and said on her blog she personally witnessed these incidents.
In an exclusive interview with RadarOnline, Stevens’ rep said, “I can tell you that Carrie was not happy with the way she was treated on the show. She was grateful that when she requested to be edited out of the show, that they did kindly comply.”
A rep for MasterChef’s production company Shine America denied the allegations, saying, “Contestants on MASTERCHEF are treated with the utmost respect and professionalism and we care tremendously about their well-being. The recent comments posted about the treatment of the contestants are completely without merit,” RadarOnline reported.
This isn’t the first time a Gordon Ramsay-related franchise has been accused of creating a hostile work environment. In 2011, a chef for his London NYC Hotel restaurant in New York accused the chef, who has a fondness for the F-word, of fostering a toxic workplace.
The 31 year-old single mother told the New York Post that she was groped, called a “whore” and propositioned for oral sex by male kitchen staff who called themselves “Gordon’s Soldiers.”
Ms. Kim was subjected to racial discrimination; staff frequently called her “China,” apparently referring to her Asian heritage.
After complaining of the harassment, Kim was demoted and forced to make hors d’ouevres in an area that was referred to as the “c**t’s corner.”
Ramsay had already sold the restaurant when Kim was subjected to the abuse, but his name was still associated with restaurant.
Kim’s attorney Jeffrey Brown told the Post, “We are not accusing Ramsay of making any of these harassment claims. He (Ramsay) is not involved. (But) his name is on the restaurant, he is active (in the business).”
Kim believed that Ramsay’s fiery personality and power rubbed off on male staff members, giving them the impression that type of behavior was “permitted and acceptable.”