• That’s some Bull. The news at CBS just keeps on coming.
Following the behavior and ousters of Les Moonves, Jeff Fager, and Charlie Rose, a new story shows how a hostile culture can trickle down from the very top to infect all aspects of an organization.
Case in point: the TV show Bull, apparently the 10th most-watched entertainment program on network TV—and one where an actress asking a co-star to stop making demeaning comments led to what seems to be a cut-and-dried instance of retaliation.
Eliza Dushku—who you might know as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Missy in Bring It On—joined the show for three episodes with plans explicitly in the works to make her a series regular. The show’s lead, NCIS‘s Michael Weatherly, quickly made Dushku uncomfortable: “Here come legs,” he said once when she wore a suit, and he’d take her to his “rape van,” he said as an ad-lib while filming. (Weatherly has said his comments were ill-advised jokes.)
But Dushku approached Weatherly about his comments—and days later, she was written off the show.
Dushku won $9.5 million in a settlement with CBS over what she believed to be retaliation—a sum equal to what she would have earned as a cast member on the show for four seasons. (If that sounds like a lot, remember Moonves’s $120 million severance package.)
The details of this incident come from the report outside investigators completed into sexual harassment at CBS following the reported conduct of the network’s chief, Moonves.
Apart from the details—written off in days? really?—this particular story is striking for what it reveals about every level of CBS. At a network where Moonves allegedly assaulted and harassed women,…