Is There a Future for 'Bull' After Michael Weatherly's Scandal?
In December, news broke that CBS paid former Bull actress Eliza Dushku $9.5 million in a settlement agreement after she made sexual harassment complaints against her costar and the show's lead, Michael Weatherly.
Dushku claimed Weatherly made demeaning comments about her appearance on set and joked about having a threesome with her. According to an internal CBS investigation, Dushku felt "disgusted and violated."
After she spoke up, Dushku alleges she was written off the CBS legal drama in what she believed to be a retaliation effort.
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Weatherly issued an apology to The New York Times when the network's actions were exposed. “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."
As did CBS: “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."
Then, Dushku slammed Weatherly and Bull showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron — who also reportedly was involved in writing her off the show — “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,” she wrote. “This is not a ‘he-said/she-said’ case. Weatherly’s behavior was captured on CBS’s own videotape recordings.”
"I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired," she concluded.
After Dushku spoke out, neither the actor nor showrunner nor network responded again or released any new information. So, the question remains: Will Weatherly keep his lucrative lead actor job on Bull after this scandal?
Anna Faris and Allison Janney are currently in salary negotiations.
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.
Bull's fall finale aired on Monday, December 10, and drew in 7.3 million total viewers and had a 0.80 rating. It's set to return on January 14 to finish out its 22-episode third season, with the season finale expected to air in May.
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“This man ... I love, respect, trust, and I KNOW. TWO decades of friendship and respect,” Perrette tweeted. “The best. I love you @M_Weatherly Always and forever.”
Alexander tweeted, “I have been in trenches w/ my friend [email protected]_Weatherly?. Always laughs, true friend & as big as they come."
We'll see what the future has in store for Weatherly's career, and specifically for his involvement on Bull.
Bull, Midseason Premiere, Monday, Jan. 14, 10/9c, CBS