The show must go on.
Queen Latifah is speaking out about co-star Chris Noth's firing from the CBS show The Equalizer, more than a month after he was accused of sexual assault. The Bringing Down the House actress addressed his exit in an interview with People, published Monday, Jan. 24, describing the circumstances as "surreal."
"It is such a dicey, delicate situation that requires a great deal of respect," she said. "That's a personal thing that he's going to have to deal with."
In the series, Noth portrayed William Bishop, a former CIA agent and friend of Latifah's character, Robyn McCall. At the time of his termination, it was widely reported that he had already filmed an upcoming episode for the show. As for what comes after that episode airs, Latifah shared, "We are figuring out what we want to do creatively on the show and how we're going to deal with that character."
And though Bishop was "obviously a big part of the show," the star said, "my feeling is justice has to prevail regardless. I just want the right things to be done, you know?"
Noth was first accused of sexual assault in a report published by The Hollywood Reporter on Dec. 16. According to THR, two women separately approached the outlet to share the stories of their alleged assaults and did not know each other.
E! News did not speak with these women and has not confirmed their identities.
Noth denied the allegations in a statement, saying, "The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false. These stories could've been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago—no always means no—that is a line I did not cross. The encounters were consensual. It's difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don't know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women."
The sexual misconduct allegations were published shortly after the premiere of And Just Like That.
Following the report, Noth's talent agency A3 said they were no longer representing him.
And though the character Mr. Big died of a heart attack in the premiere of And Just Like That..., TV Line reports that Noth was set to appear in the series finale but the scene has since been removed.
Additionally, his AJLT co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis have since spoken out about the accusations, writing in a Dec. 20 statement, "We are deeply saddened to hear the allegations against Chris Noth. We support the women who have come forward and shared their painful experiences. We know it must be a very difficult thing to do and we commend them for it."
For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.