A variety of reality TV firings have gone down recently, largely due to incendiary remarks that were made on social media at one point or another. However, the situation is quite different for chef Chad Barrett, a winner and two-time contestant on Guy's Grocery Games. Barrett was accused of violent behavior by seven different women on social media, which occurred as he is already awaiting a pre-trial hearing for charges of domestic violence. In response to the publicized allegations, Food Network has completely cut ties with the up-and-coming chef.
Chad Barrett appeared opposite host Guy Fieri on Guy's Grocery Games for the first time back in 2017 for the Season 12 episode "Budget Bonanza," in which he ended up winning $16,000. The chef was invited back to the show in 2019 for an all-champions edition, and he also participated in the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival in 2019. However, don't expect to see any of his episodes again any time soon. Here was the statement given by a Food Network spokesperson to the Detroit Free Press.
When we read the local news reports about the current allegations against this contestant, we pulled both episodes that he appeared, so no re-airs could be scheduled.
The Wine & Food Festival's director of operations Alexandra Stylianos shared a similar sentiment about Chat Barrett's future prospects, saying:
A woman brought this article to our attention the other day and we’ve since removed Chad Barrett from our website. He participated in the festival in 2019 but he will not be participating in future events.
Chad Barrett is currently waiting on a July 16 pretrial hearing that will take place at the Macomb County District Court in Michigan. The charges were filed by his ex-wife Kari Barrett (née Spatafore), marking the second time the chef has been busted for domestic violence. Chad and Kari's relationship reportedly lasted just nine months, which stretched from their first dates to their marriage and then their eventual divorce. She alleged that he was emotionally and verbally abusive prior to them getting married, and the physical abuse started up after that.
The friend of one of Chad Barrett's alleged victims took to Facebook recently to share a warning about him to others in the Detroit Area Chefs group. At that point, more women spoke up with their own accusations, and some of them reached out to Kari Barrett, who claimed that each of their stories had a lot of similarities.
One of the alleged victims, Sarah Natushko, was with Chad Barrett for seven months, during which point she claims to have taken a hospital trip after he attacked her, which required her to get 31 stitches in her arm. What's more, she was pregnant with his child at the time. Natushko ended up pressing charges against Barrett that year (2011), and the case ended in a plea deal the next year, leaving all the details sealed. Now raising their eight-year-old daughter (who was legally adopted by Natushko's husband), she had this to say about Food Network's decision to excise Barrett:
I didn't expect to feel a physical (weight) lifted off my chest. But that's what it feels like. It's very emotional for me because I've been bearing the pain for so long. It was like those articles drudged it back up and it took away my importance. Seeing people praise him made me feel like I didn't matter. It made me feel like what I have been through, what I had survived and saved my child from, didn't matter. I feel vindicated and free. People are finally listening and, more importantly, they are standing by us now.
After the social media accusations first went public, Chat Barrett issued a statement saying it was all being handled as libel by his attorneys. However, he did not make any statements following Food Network's decision to cut ties.
Even though Chad Barrett won't be seen in them anymore, Guy's Grocery Games airs new episodes on Wednesday nights on Food Network at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what else is on the way in the near future, head to our Summer 2020 TV premiere schedule.