Michael Weatherly’s ‘NCIS’ Co-Stars Come to His Defense — Is His Job on ‘Bull’ in Jeopardy?
Last week, news broke that CBS paid former Bull star Eliza Dushku $9.5 million for writing her off of the series after she confronted the series’ star, Michael Weatherly, over his alleged inappropriate behavior on set.
Now, Weatherly’s former NCIS co-stars are coming to his defense. “This man… I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” Pauley Perrette, who played Abby, wrote on social media. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly. Always and forever.”
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) December 15, 2018
Sasha Alexander, who played Caitlin on NCIS, added: “I have been in trenches w/ my friend @M_Weatherly. Always laughs, true friend & [a heart] as big as they come.”
— Sasha Alexander (@sashaalexander) December 15, 2018
It was reported that CBS settled with Dushku in January after she claimed she was written off the legal drama because of her complaints against Weatherly, included his alleged demeaning comments about her appearance and jokes about having a threesome with her. According to an internal CBS investigation, Dushku felt “disgusted and violated.”
The network released a statement regarding the settlement: “The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done. The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.”
Weatherly also issued an apology to The New York Times. “During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” he wrote. “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.”
The actor added that he has no control of over casting — “It’s my recollection that I didn’t tell anyone how they should do their job regarding the hiring or firing of anybody.”
Meanwhile, the question still remains: Will Weatherly keep his high-profile Bull job in the wake of this controversial news?
The women’s activist group, Ultraviolet, called for his firing. “CBS must immediately move to fire Michael Weatherly and send a clear example that sexual harassment and abuse will not be tolerated by anyone at the network – including both CEO’s and star actors’ alike,” said Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder and executive director of Ultraviolet.
CBS has not released any decision yet. Bull is set to return for the rest of its third season on January 14, 2019.
Bull, Mondays, 10/9c, CBS