CBS is defending its controversial decision to bring scandal-plagued Bull back for a fourth season. The network last week renewed the procedural in the wake of a tumultuous year in which leading man Michael Weatherly was accused of sexual harassment by former co-star Eliza Dushku, who ultimately reached a $9.5 million settlement with CBS.
“Michael made a mistake,” CBS’ entertainment prez Kelly Kahl conceded to reporters Wednesday during an early-morning presser. “He owned that mistake… he was apologetic at the time; he was remorseful… [Michael was open to] take whatever coaching or training necessary to create a positive environment on set. He took everything very seriously and wanted to move forward.
“When we looked at the totality of the situation,” Kahl continued, “we felt comfortable bringing it back on the air.”
In a stinging Boston Globe op-ed, Dushku outlined in great detail the atmosphere on the CBS procedural — including lewd comments Weatherly allegedly made toward her — that led to her lodging a formal complaint. She was fired not long afterward.
Weatherly denied having anything to do with Dushku being written off the show, but admitted that he engaged in behavior that was “both not funny and not appropriate,” adding, “I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
Steven Spielberg, who was an EP on Bull, severed ties with the series in the wake of CBS’ renewal (full story here).
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