Actress Eliza Dushku has alleged she was the subject of inappropriate comments on the set of the CBS show “Bull” and that after she complained, she was written off the show and deprived of a four-season arc she had been promised.
As a result, CBS settled with the actress and paid her $9.5 million, or what she would have earned if she had been on the show for four seasons.
The star of the show and the focus of the accusations, Michael Weatherly, has issued an apology and said the comments were simply bad jokes. One of the show’s producers, Glenn Gordon Caron, had initially proposed the four-season arc but, after Dushku’s complaints, said he didn’t know how to continue to write her into the show.
Some of Dushku’s complaints
During one scene and while in character, Dushku raised three fingers. This prompted Weatherly to make a sexually inappropriate remark. Dushku claimed that because of Weatherly’s status on the show, a crew member felt free to later approach her and suggest he, too, agreed with Weatherly’s sexually inappropriate remark.
In another instance, Weatherly threatened to put Dushku over his knee and spank her in front of the cast and crew.
In another comment, the show featured a paneled van that contained phallic objects and lubricant. The line called for Weatherly’s character to invite Dushku’s character into the “windowless van” but the actor changed the line to “rape van.”
Dushku brought her concerns about Weatherly to Caron, who encouraged her to discuss the matter with Weatherly. She did.
Weatherly then sent a text to the president of CBS Television Studios, asking to discuss Dushku’s sense of humor. At about this time, Dushku expressed to her management that she feared she would be written off the show because of her complaints.
She was indeed written off the show. Weatherly denies that he had anything to do with the decision. In a report about the incident in the New York Times, Caron said producers simply decided not to exercise their option for Dushku and the decision was in no way punitive.
CBS is no stranger to such claims. Multiple women have accused CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual assault. “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose also faced multiple accusations of harassment. “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager was forced out following similar harassment accusations.