Those allegations are being leveled by David Page, the former producer of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Our sister paper Minneapolis City Pages broke the story of the lawsuits and infighting among DDD star Fieri, Page's Minnesota production company, and the Food TV network, which broadcasts the hit show.
The show was created by David Page, who launched the runaway hit in 2006 with the winner of The Next Food Network Star as its host. In the years the show has been in production, Page alleges, Fieri's ego and demands have blown up to world-class diva proportions, especially now that his star has risen beyond the food media to the mainstream NBC game show Minute to Win It.
Gregory Pratt, the author of the City Pages story, quotes Page:
“Almost everyone who becomes a star in television develops an abnormal sense of self,” Page says. “In the worst-case scenario, they become surrounded by sycophants who tell them everything they want to hear.”
Page and another employee of his production company take shots at Guy's sexual predilections:
“Any time any woman mentioned 'cream,' Guy went into a sexual riff. When cutting the show, you had to tell the editors to watch Guy's eye line because it's always on breasts.”
Fieri also needed protection from homosexuals, or at least advance warning. Early in the show's run, Page got a phone call from Fieri, who'd just walked out of a restaurant in a huff.
“Guy had decided that the two men running the restaurant were life partners,” Page remembers. “He said, 'You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!'”
From then on, show researchers were required to note any indications of homosexuality detected during pre-interviews.
On a copyright dispute over work done for the television show that Fieri wanted to use in his books:
“They were demanding tremendous research from my people, and pictures, but they didn't want to pay for them,” Page says. “Guy said to me: 'You know, it's true: Jews are cheap.'”
These allegations feel like revenge over a lost lawsuit from an equally giant tool that lost control of his show and his star. But Fieri's not the first TV star whose alligator mouth is still too big for his giant head. Rumor has it he's making an appearance on Ellen next week to answer to television's pre-eminent gay woman, whom we hope will shrink his oversized head with hardball questions.
Tip to Guy: Ellen's eyes are up HERE.