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Salon, Boston Globe, NY Times

TV Critic Says Eliza Dushku’s Scathing Indictment of Sexual Harassment on CBS’s ‘Bull’ Shows How Deep the Network’s Problem Still Runs

Dec 21, 2018  •  Post A Comment

“On Wednesday Eliza Dushku — immortalized among fans of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ as Faith, the morally eclipsed counterpart to Buffy Summers — rose up forcefully to contradict, in her own way, the declaration [by investigators hired by the CBS board of directors] that harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at the company,” writes Melanie McFarland, Salon’s TV critic.

McFarland is referring to an op-ed piece that Dushku wrote that was published Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the Boston Globe. It’s about how she was sexually harassed on the set of the CBS series “Bull” last year. Dushku wrote the piece in response to a New York Times article that ran Dec. 13 with the headline “CBS Paid the Actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Harassment Claims.”

Salon’s McFarland writes: “Dushku does not mince words, opening [her op-ed] with, ‘The narrative propagated by CBS, actor Michael Weatherly [who plays Jason Bull], 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.’

“And the reader need not simply go by her word. ‘This is not a “he-said/she-said” case,’ she writes. ‘Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.’”

McFarland adds: “Dushku’s opinion piece is worth reading in its entirety, but what sticks out and deflates the investigator’s conclusion that ‘harassment and retaliation are not pervasive at CBS’ are two related points. The first is the detail that Weatherly bragged to her about his friendship Moonves, a man who in the months since his initial removal was revealed to have had an employee ‘on-call’ to perform oral sex and, in the case of one of his earliest victims, caused emotional distress, ‘medical injuries and effectively [ended] her acting career.’

“‘Weatherly wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat,’ Dushku writes.

“The second is a detail from that awful account about the threesome incident [in her op-ed Dushku says at one point Weatherly proposed having a threesome with her]. It’s nauseating enough that a co-worker would feel so confident in his untouchability that he would make such a comment in full view of other co-workers — and with cameras recording every word of it. But then comes the additional injury: ‘Minutes later, a crew member sidled up next to me and, with a smirk, said in a low voice, “I’m with Bull. I wanna have a threesome with you too.”’”

One Comment

  1. It has been my practice to avoid any production involving a performer who I believe has engaged in deliberately egregious behaviors. Basically its been a while since I have seen a Woody Allen movie. The point here is that Dushku’s complaint was serious enough that CBS’ attorneys felt that payment was a better alternative to a lengthy public fight about did or did not happen. Given the amount and the high likelihood that there was videotape evidence, I tend to believe Dushku.

    This leaves the question of what is an appropriate response on a larger level. I regret that I will not be watching “Bull” any more and that I willl miss the performances by the other cast members. I would like to see the show cancelled with appropriate payment to all of the performers and crew, other than Wetherly and Caron. CBS should revive Code: Black as that shows demise was questionable in the extreme.

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