OPINION: Chef Mario Batali is the latest victim of cancel culture

Celebrity chef Mario Batali leaves Boston Municipal Court following an arraingment on a charge of indecent assault and battery in connection with a 2017 incident at a Back Bay restaurant on May 24, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Celebrity chef Mario Batali leaves Boston Municipal Court following an arraingment on a charge of indecent assault and battery in connection with a 2017 incident at a Back Bay restaurant on May 24, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo credit Scott Eisen/Getty Images

On Tuesday, celebrity chef Mario Batali was found not guilty after being charged with indecent assault and battery related to an alleged groping of a fan at a Boston restaurant in 2017.

Rich Zeoli, host of the Rich Zeoli Show on 1210 WPHT News Radio, shared that he believes the entire trial was an effort to cancel Batali through the Me Too movement.

In part, Judge James Stanton seemed to agree, acquitting Batali of the charges. But he added that Batali's conduct in 2017 was "not befitting of a public person of his stature. He also said, though, that Batali's accuser has "significant credibility issues," supporting Batali's "contention that her motive was financial gain."

The allegation of assault stems from a photo that Batali took with the fan at the Boston restaurant and ended up costing the chef more than just a moment of his time.

Zeoli says that Batali was just the latest victim of cancel culture and noted that the chef got kicked off of his shows, including The Chew and Iron Chef America, in 2018.

"They canceled him," Zeoli said. "That was a real shame because he was a great chef, he was a funny guy, I don't know his politics. I don't really care. I like his cooking."

When the accusations came out, he said Batali was canceled with no hesitation or verification of the claims.

"A woman comes forward and says, 'Hey, he did this' in a woke place like Boston, they go, 'Well then he's guilty. Let's go charge him.' Whether they have evidence or not, and that's what happens," Zeoli said.

After receiving the not guilty verdict, Batali was seen wiping away tears and embracing his attorneys.

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