December 19, 2017

Target and Walmart join Eataly and ABC in backing away from Batali


Mario Batali, man

Following last week’s report that the Italian market chain Eataly USA was pulling Mario Batali’s cookbooks and other products from their shelves, megastores Target and Walmart have announced that they too are, uh “transitioning” away from the celebrity chef.

For PageSix, Michael Bartiromo reports that both retailers came to their decision in light of the sexual harassment allegations against Batali.

“As of Friday morning,” Bartiromo writes, “a search for ‘Batali’ on yielded only one result: a cookbook featuring recipes from ABC’s ‘The Chew,’” which dropped the co-host last week. “, meanwhile, listed only a bottle of Mario Batali’s sauce — though the item is ‘no longer available’ to purchase.”

While corporations such as Target and Walmart naturally insist that they are distancing themselves from alleged perpetrators like Mario Batali on moral grounds, it seems pretty obvious, too, that the public (read: consumers’) reaction to the #metoo phenomenon has been so fervent that these men now present very real commercial liabilities. And while it’s also clear that the charade of “due process” has in many cases protected perpetrators better than it’s protected victims, it’s still interesting to note how quickly the pendulum has swung all the way to the other side.



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.