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CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl revealed that Bull star Michael Weatherly and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron have entered “leadership training.” The news, announced at a Television Critics Association (TCA) panel Thursday, comes on the heels of a confidential $9.5 million sexual harassment settlement with actress Eliza Dushku and a bombshell story in the Boston Globe–in which the actress defied her non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
Details of the settlement were leaked to the press in 2018 when Dushku alleged that not only did she endure sexual harassment, but that she was fired from the series in retaliation for reporting the incident.
Dushku asserts that Weatherly made a number of inappropriate comments toward her, including suggesting they have a “threesome.” When Dushku complained, she says Weatherly worked to oust her from Bull despite her expectation that she would become a series regular.
Bull ended its third season squarely on the cancelation bubble, drawing in 6.7 million total viewers and a 0.6 rating within the 18-49 demographic. Nonetheless, CBS remains committed to the show. While these numbers would be solid on other networks, many CBS shows perform better than the Dr. Phil-inspired drama.
TCA critics pressed Kahl on why the show returned despite the allegations and payout. Kahl said, “It’s a very popular show. Michael is loved by our audience.”
For her part, Kahl admitted that “[at CBS] we still have a lot of work to do.”
CBS has attempted to cast this as an “isolated incident,” despite a rash of similar problems at the network. Big Brother has faced its own sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations, as did disgraced CBS News anchor Charlie Rose. Executive Les Moonves was ousted following revelations that detailed years of sexual harassment.
And while the results of an internal investigation concluded that sexual harassment is not a “pervasive” issue at the company, CBS continues to be dogged by allegations.
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.