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Marines Reviewing Sexist Comments by Commandant's Chef on Reality Show

Mark Allison, the dean of culinary arts for Johnson and Wales University, with Lance Cpl. Charmaine Jackson and Cpl. Frank Cala after they won the third quarter Culinary Team of the Quarter, Oct. 18, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Damany S. Coleman)
Mark Allison, the dean of culinary arts for Johnson and Wales University, with Lance Cpl. Charmaine Jackson and Cpl. Frank Cala after they won the third quarter Culinary Team of the Quarter, Oct. 18, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Damany S. Coleman)

Marine Corps officials are looking into offensive comments made on a network reality show by a Marine sergeant who serves as executive chef at the Home of the Commandants. Sgt. Frank Cala created an internet furor after an April 1 episode of the Fox show "Hell's Kitchen" showed him disparaging female Marines and all women after getting kicked off the show. "The blue team never had any drama until the females came aboard," Cala said in a confessional interview as he left the set. "That's when the ship sunk. And that's exactly why I get [bleeped] female Marines and I send them back wherever [bleeped] they came from. The clip was posted April 2 to a Facebook page called End Gender Bias in the Military as an example of a broader culture of sexism. "Personal chef to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Marine Sergeant Frank Cala disparages women on Hell's Kitchen. Cultural problems in the Corps? Yes," page administrators wrote. Cala's remarks also prompted dozens of comments on the show's Facebook page. Sgt. Bryan Nygaard, a public affairs Marine for Recruiting Station Baltimore, condemned the comments in his own post. "I can assure you that Sergeant Frank Cala's comments have not gone unnoticed. Sergeant Cala's comments toward the end of the episode are not consistent with the Marine Corps' values of honor, courage and commitment," he wrote. "I will notify my chain of command as well as Sergeant Cala's chain of command to ensure that corrective action is being taken." On Monday, Headquarters Marine Corps responded, posting a short message to its official Twitter page. "Many have drawn our attention to comments not in keeping w/ our values made on @HellsKitchenFOX Friday," officials wrote. "We are looking into it. Thank you." Cala is a seven-year active duty Marine originally from Staten Island, New York who enlisted in the Corps at the age of 19, according to a January profile by SI Live. Military news releases show he has previously received recognition as a Marine food specialist, winning the Culinary Team of the Quarter competition at Mess Hall 411 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 2011. It's not clear what arrangements were made in order to allow Cala to participate in Hell's Kitchen, a restaurant cooking competition hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Cala was kicked off on the 12th episode of the show's 15th season.

--Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @HopeSeck.

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