CBS Boss Defends Bull Renewal: Michael Weatherly 'Made a Mistake'

Michael Weatherly. Lamborghini with The Cinema Society Host a Special Screening of Marvel Studios' 'DOCTOR STRANGE', New York USA- 01 Nov 2016

CREDIT Kristina Bumphrey StarPix REX Shutterstock

The show and its star started making headlines for some unfortunate reasons in late 2018 when Weatherly was accused of sexual harassment by former co-star Eliza Dushku. Dushku received a $9.5 million settlement from CBS for her wrongful termination after reporting the alleged harassment, and she later detailed the situation in an op-ed for The Boston Globe. [Michael was open to] take whatever coaching or training necessary to create a positive environment on set.

The accusations against Weatherly were first revealed in late 2018, when an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against former CBS CEO Les Moonves revealed a $9.5 million settlement between CBS and Dushku, who claimed she was sacked from the series after confronting Weatherly about his behavior on set.

"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.

Weatherly told the Times he regrets what he said and how he made his costar feel.

"Michael made a mistake", CBS' entertainment prez Kelly Kahl conceded to reporters Wednesday during an early-morning presser.

"During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script", Weatherly said in the statement to the publication.

Dushku, who was starting a run as a recurring character, was written off the show after complaining about Weatherly.

She was then paid US$9.5 million by CBS in a secret settlement - reportedly the amount she would have earned if she had remained on the show.

The network has taken a number of measures to improve its handling of workplace misconduct, including enhanced training and an anonymous hotline, Kahl said.

Weatherly has had a long-standing relationship with the network.

While defending CBS' decision to renew Bull despite the scandal, Kahl insisted that Weatherly "took everything very seriously and wants to move forward".

"So, when we look at the totality of the situation, we felt comfortable bringing more back on the air", he told a news conference Wednesday to announce CBS' 2019-20 schedule. "He's a dad, he's upset by this, he wants to make it better".

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