Yikes; a blogger's recap of MasterChef has gone viral, and within comments about various judging and cooking abilities are some fighting words about sexual harassment on MasterChef.
The blogger, Marie Porter, is a former MasterChef contestant who was part of season four, cooked her dishes for three judges: Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot. During her time there, however, she claims she witnessed multiple incidences of sexual harassment.
"Two of my MasterChef friends have had suicidal thoughts since coming back, as a result of the treatment out there," Porter wrote on her blog. "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 that 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."
No evidence has been provided to support her claims, but two other MasterChef contestants have chosen to stay out of the discussion. "I'm not getting involved in that whole snafu!" Ben Starr from season two wrote in the comments portion of his blog. "Ha ha ha... I love Marie and we have a unique friendship, but I avoid big snarls of fighting and accusations like that because I am allergic to confrontation."
Meanwhile, a commenter under Carrie Stevens (who is a contestant from MasterChef season four) has also written, "Everything Marie says is absolute truth. While I do not want to be a part of this snafu either... I have moved on from my bad MC experience... Marie is reporting facts. I witnessed it. These shows need to start being honest to potential contestants about what they are getting into, and the 'personalities' or 'judges' on these shows need to get over themselves, and have some emapthy for the people they are ridiculing."
Shine America has responded to the accusations, saying in a statement, "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 contestants are completely without merit."