Guy Fieri is sticking around on Food Network after signing a massive new deal, and unsurprisingly, he wants to use this success to push for more restaurant relief. Over the past year, as restaurants everywhere were forced to close due to the pandemic, Fieri worked feverishly to help raise over $25 million for affected food workers. In a new interview with THR, the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives star explains how's found ways to use his fame to help others in need
"Nothing can replace what this kind of recognition, appearing on TV, can do for these people and their businesses ... for their lives," Fieri said. "I need to keep doing this because it just needs to be done."
The mass closure of restaurants across the country last year, with mom-and-pop places taking a tremendous hit in particular, Fieri was unable to stand by during last year's pandemic. He sought contact info for CEOs of major corporations to ask for donations, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, to assist displaced restaurant workers. His efforts paid off, resulting in more than more than 43,000 payments of $500 to various cooks, servers, and other food service workers.
"I'm not into shaming people and telling who didn't donate, that's not my style," Guy Fieri explained, crediting companies like PepsiCo, Uber Eats, and Procter & Gamble for donating substantial amounts of money. While Fieri doesn't typically share the names of anyone who decides not to donate, there was something peculiar about the richest man in the world abstaining from the charity.
"Jeff [Bezos], by the way, didn't help us," Fieri added.
In addition to his philanthropic efforts, Fieri has long been the face of Food Network as one of television's most recognizable stars. He has also since become the face of Discovery+, which hosts his entire library, giving him a strong presence in the streaming world as well. Not wanting Guy to go anywhere, Food Network recently signed him to a new lucrative deal that will keep him around until at least 2024.
Financial details haven't been revealed, but Fieri's payoff is reportedly in the high eight figures, described as the biggest talent deal of its kind for Discovery Inc. It's easy to believe that the deal was substantial, as Food Network reps have been very open about just how valuable Fieri is to the network.
"I just can't imagine Food Network without Guy. I can't even bring myself to try to imagine it," says network president Courtney White. "There is no better salesman than Guy. There's a power to his enthusiasm. It gets people to rally around his vision, whether it's a pitch for a show or in raising all that money."
Fieri seems to be a very laid-back person, but he does have one small request for his fans. Though he's known for enjoying various foods on television, Fieri wants to make it clear that he isn't a food critic, as that word implies a negative connotation. That's just not Guy's style, as he prefers to only take the high road on his shows.
"Don't call me 'that food critic,'" Fieri said. "I highlight. I recognize. I do not critique. If I don't like the food, you won't see it on my shows. Who wants to watch something called It Sucks: Don't Come to This F**king Place?"
There's no one else quite like Guy Fieri, and despite his eccentricities, the Food Network star has become one of pop culture's most popular personalities. There's a reason why a fan petition was created to literally have the city of Columbus, Ohio, renamed as "Flavortown." This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.