'Masterchef': Inside the most notorious controversy that rocked the popular culinary show

'Masterchef': Inside the most notorious controversy that rocked the popular culinary show
Marie Porter was on 'Masterchef' Season 4 (Facebook/MariePorter)

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: In 2013, a storm of allegations engulfed the renowned television show 'MasterChef,' as former contestants came forward with disturbing accounts of sexual, mental, and physical harassment involving the judges and producers. The accusations gained prominence through a blog post penned by Marie Porter, a former contestant, who courageously shared her experiences and those of her friends met on the show. According to Porter's account, contestants faced alleged incidents of sexual and physical harassment inflicted upon them by judges and producers.

She further asserted that such maltreatment led to severe emotional distress, causing some contestants to spiral into depression and even contemplate suicide. Shockingly, one contestant was purportedly subjected to such relentless harassment that she pleaded to be entirely edited out of the show. As the layers of this troubling issue are unraveled, a closer examination of the details becomes imperative.


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Marie Porter calls out sexual harassment on 'Masterchef'

In a blogger's recap of 'Masterchef,' Marie candidly discussed the issue of sexual harassment on the show. During her time there, she claims to have witnessed multiple instances of sexual harassment. She conveyed the distressing experiences of her fellow contestants, saying, "Two of my MasterChef friends have had suicidal thoughts since coming back, as a result of the treatment out there." Furthermore, she disclosed a disturbing incident where one of her friends was subjected to sexual harassment by the judges, leading her to involve her lawyers and ultimately be edited out of the show.


Marie shared a shocking quote from her friend's encounter, stating that one of the judges expressed that the only way he could appreciate her was by seeing her naked body. Additionally, she revealed that two other friends had experienced physical assaults—one by a member of the production team and the other by a judge. It should be noted that no evidence has been presented to substantiate these claims, although two other Masterchef contestants involved have chosen to abstain from participating in the discussion.

Marie continued to express her concerns, stating, "I knew that MasterChef contestants can struggle after returning home, and I was aware that the show has caused depression among many participants from previous seasons, including those who achieved high placements and has even ruined a few lives." She explained that it was more difficult for her to overlook these issues when they were presented with specific details rather than being discussed in an abstract manner without the knowledge of the individuals involved.


She emphasized that the individuals affected were not mentally unbalanced or seeking drama but rather ordinary people who had endured challenging situations. Marie concluded by stating, "These are real, everyday people. Good people." It's important to note that no evidence has been presented to substantiate these claims either. 

What did 'Masterchef' do after these accusations?

The shrouded truth behind any behind-the-scenes actions or potential settlements remains elusive, concealed by the restrictive nature of NDAs that restrict contestants from revealing more than they already have. Responding to the allegations, the production company behind 'Masterchef', Shine America, issued a statement asserting, "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."


The first episode of 'Masterchef' Season 13 will air at 8 pm ET on May 24 on Fox will be available to watch on Hulu the next day.

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 Inside the most notorious controversy that rocked the popular culinary show 'Masterchef'