The organization survived a massive cheating scandal two years ago, was criticized for its insincere handling of the Black Lives Matter crisis as relative to the wine business and now close to two dozen women have come forward accusing a hand full of male Master Sommeliers of sexual harassment.
[One of the men] was long considered one of the most egregious offenders, but as the country’s first American to have served as president of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and a historically well respected Master Sommelier, he was long considered untouchable.
Some attribute the last years of bad male behavior to the stream of Somm movies, three of which were released between 2012 and 2018, which glorified male sommeliers as rock stars. “The rise of ‘Somm’ culture after the documentaries made it worse because [male sommeliers] were given a cultural of permission to behave like rock stars”
The seven men will be barred from participating in any court activities, but the organization stopped short of revoking their membership altogether, pending a California hearing process.
You can read the announcement from the Court of Master Sommeliers here.