‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Fires Another Producer After HR Complaint

Sam Lothridge/CBS
Scott Bakula in NCIS: New Orleans

The powers that be on CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans are changing as another staffer, executive producer Adam Targum, has been fired.

As second-in-command on the hit series, Targum’s departure was detailed by Vulture as a direct response to a Human Resources complaint. Targum had been promoted to the position after former showrunner Brad Kern was fired in October 2018 over multiple HR complaints.

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The ousted CEO was under investigation for sexual misconduct.

When Chris Silber took over as showrunner after Kern, Targum was working alongside him and there was hope workplace morale would improve. But according to Vulture’s source, that didn’t happen. “Targum has an abrasive personality that doesn’t foster collaboration, rather submission to his ideas,” said the NCIS: New Orleans insider.

The complaint was the show’s fourth in less than three years, with the first few belonging to Kern. CBS’ decision to let Targum go is sign of change for the network, which had previously allowed Kern to continue working despite reports of sexist and racist behavior on set and in the writer’s room.

Former NCIS: New Orleans executive producer Adam Targum (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD)

After multiple alleged offenses, Kern’s contract with the network was still renewed in spring 2018 for a two-year deal before CBS finally let him go months later. Meanwhile, Targum was described as “tone deaf” in his ideas and was seen as a someone who “bullies” people.

One example of Targum’s alleged problematic behavior was a proposed idea for a wheelchair-bound villain on the show — and one of the writers is also in a wheelchair.

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'There is no excuse for this alleged behavior, ' said 'CBS This Morning' co-anchor, Norah O'Donnell.

“He is obnoxious, and he says dumb things all day long. He’s incredibly tone-deaf, and if a guy like this is put into a room with staff that’s been through a lot of trauma in the past two years, there are going to be problems,” another source provided.

Targum, who has previously worked on Banshee and CSI: NY, was also slated to serve as showrunner to Syfy’s Deadly Class but was ultimately let go for “creative differences” after the pilot.

Bakula and CCH Pounder in NCIS: New Orleans

This news comes in the wake of quite a bit of drama at CBS, following the axing of former CEO Leslie Moonves for alleged harassment, abuse, assault and intimidating behavior.

Most recently, Bull‘s Michael Weatherly came under fire after former co-star Eliza Dushku complained about inappropriate comments and behavior from the star on-set, and was promptly let go by the show. The network ended up paying out her $9.5 million contract as a settlement for what seemed to be unlawful termination.

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'I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired,' she writes.

“For decades, the network taught everyone that nothing mattered except Les Moonves and whoever is No. 1 on the call sheet,” said one of the sources.

So, is the firing of Targum a sign of change for the network? And will NCIS: New Orleans be different after this shift of power? Only time will tell.

NCIS: New Orleans, Tuesdays, 10/9c, CBS