The Chew Hosts Get Emotional on Air Addressing the Show's Cancellation: 'The Mood Is a Little Sad'
In true Chew fashion, there were tears and there were laughs when the show’s remaining three cohosts addressed the news that the daytime cooking show would not be returning to ABC next season.
Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon and Carla Hall started Thursday’s show by touching on the elephant in the room. “It’s an interesting day here at The Chew because most of you might have heard, some of you might not have, but The Chew has not been picked up for an eighth season—our seventh season is our last,” Kelly said.
He was immediately met by “boos” from the audience, but assured everyone that, “It’s okay, It’s okay. These things happen.”
“The mood is a little sad around here to be honest with you,” Kelly continued. “There is a lot of people who work really hard on this show and really believe in this show and we’re all going to miss this show very, very much. We’re not going to talk about any trending topics today or hammer home the theme but we thought we’d spend the first segment of the show talking about our feelings.”
On Wednesday, ABC announced that Good Morning America has been expanded to three hours and will take over the afternoon slot for The Chew. The Emmy Award-winning show, which premiered in 2011, has featured the three hosts since its inception plus Daphne Oz, who announced her departure last August, and Mario Batali, who was fired from the show in December following allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Instead of focusing on the negative, each host made it clear how much they enjoyed working on the show, which has aired nearly 1,500 episodes.
“I could count on a couple of fingers the days that I didn’t want to wake up at 5:30 and come to work,” said Symon. “It has been the most fun I have every had in my life of any job I have ever had and it’s because of the fans. You guys are unbelievable and you’ve made it so special for us.”
Though he received an outpouring of support from friends and family after the announcement, Symon said he “had to stop reading stuff yesterday because I was getting kind of emotional.”
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Kelly, visible choking up while speaking, made a touching tribute to Hall and Symon.
“About nine years ago I decided I made a vow to live my life under three guiding principles and those are love, awe, and gratitude,” he said. “I am so grateful to have worked with you guys and gotten to know you for the past seven years because not only are you talented chefs and great TV personalities and really just generous cohosts, you’re also just good people. You are really the salt of the earth, good human beings.”
None of the cohosts addressed their former cohost Batali, who is being investigated by the NYPD for two sexual assault allegations.
In a statement Batali tells PEOPLE: “I vehemently deny any allegations of sexual assault. My past behavior has been deeply inappropriate and I am sincerely remorseful for my actions. I am not attempting a professional comeback. My only focus is finding a personal path forward where I can continue in my charitable endeavors – helping the underprivileged and those in need.”
Sources tell PEOPLE that the cancellation is completely independent from the criminal investigation against Batali, saying “it was a business decision.”
“While this is the right decision for our business, it is also bittersweet. For seven years The Chew has delighted audiences by delivering innovative food segments in an entertaining atmosphere,” said Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney|ABC Television, in a statement. “We applaud and thank Gordon Elliott, Aimee Householder, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and the entire cast and crew for their great work and amazing run. And we wish them the very best.”