- Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television is pulling out of CBS’ “Bull” after a sexual harassment allegation against star Michael Weatherly.
- Former “Bull” actress Eliza Dushku said in a December Boston Globe op-ed that Weatherly repeatedly harassed her on the set of the procedural series.
- Dushku said that CBS fired her after she confronted Weatherly. CBS ultimately paid her a $US9.5 million settlement.
- Dushku told Deadline in March that she met with Spielberg to discuss possible solutions.
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CBS renewed its procedural series “Bull” for a fourth season this week, but Steven Spielberg won’t be returning.
Spielberg’s Amblin Television – the TV division of his production company, Amblin Entertainment – co-produced the series, but confirmed to Deadline on Thursday that it was pulling away from the show after a sexual harassment allegation against star Michael Weatherly.
CBS declined to comment.
Former “Bull” actress Eliza Dushku wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed in December that she was fired from “Bull” after confronting Weatherly about his alleged inappropriate conduct towards her. Dushku said that Weatherly “harassed me from early on,” including offering to take her to his “rape van,” proposing a threesome, and remarking on her “‘ravishing’ beauty, following up with audible groans.”
“The narrative propagated by CBS, actor Michael Weatherly, and writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron is deceptive and in no way fits with how they treated me on the set of the television show ‘Bull’ and retaliated against me for simply asking to do my job without relentless sexual harassment,” Dushku wrote. “This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behaviour was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
In response to the New York Times in December, Weatherly apologised for his behaviour, but denied having an influence in Dushku’s firing.
CBS paid Dushku a $US9.5 million settlement in early 2018, which she wrote was “an amount that represented a portion of what I would have earned had I finished my potential six-year contract.” Dushku also called out Spielberg in the op-ed.
“I have been a lifelong fan and assumed that if anyone could make changes, it would be Spielberg,” Dushku wrote. “Watching the Golden Globes and seeing Spielberg front-and-center wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin shortly after my settlement made me especially eager to meet with him.”
Dushku told Deadline in March that she had finally met with Spielberg to discuss solutions.
“I actually spent the morning with the three heads of the Time’s Up organisation and Mr. Steven Spielberg,” Dushku said. “We sat and brainstormed and discussed possible solutions for this systemic imbalance of power, the abuse and harassment that we’ve been seeing and hearing and experiencing and both in our industry and beyond.”
This is not the only experience CBS has had with allegations of sexual misconduct.
Former CBS CEO Les Moonves stepped down in September following allegations of sexual misconduct from a dozen women, and the CBS board of directors denied Moonves a $US120 million severance after concluding that he violated company policies and didn’t fully cooperate with the investigation against him. Moonves said in a January SEC filing that he would fight the decision.
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