Bull, a TV show loosely based on the early life of Dr. Phil McGraw, is one of the most popular shows on network television. But there’s an ugly side to it that is just coming to light.
As the New York Times reported on Thursday, in the spring of 2017, series star Michael Weatherly lobbed a series of sexual remarks and jokes at guest star Eliza Dushku, who later confronted him about them and was subsequently written off the show. Although Dushku had only signed on for a three-episode arc, there were reportedly plans in the works to make her a series regular–a lucrative, high-profile, steady gig. When those plans were abruptly scrapped in the wake of the confrontation, Dushku took legal action.
“After she went through mediation with CBS, the company agreed to a confidential settlement that would pay her $9.5 million, roughly the equivalent of what Ms. Dushku would have earned if she had stayed on as a cast member for four seasons,” the Times story explains.
The revelation of this payout comes on the heels of recent reports about the network’s involvement in now-former chief executive Les Moonves’ sexual harassment (and worse) of at least 17 employees. Moonves was initially accused back in July, then was ousted from CBS, and now stands to lose his severance package, if not face further legal action.
When it comes to corporate culture, the fish rots from the head. The news about Dushku further indicates that the rot may have spread all over at CBS.