Some truly shocking news has emerged tonight when it comes to Bull star Michael Weatherly and a controversy that first took place during season 1 of the show.
According to a new report from the New York Times, CBS issued a settlement of $9.5 million to Eliza Dushku over some lewd and suggestive comments that were reportedly made to her on set. The report cites a number of examples and after complaining about the comments, she was written off the show. Dushku was poised to become a series regular in season 2 as J.P. Nunnelly, a defense attorney who formed a contentious relationship with Dr. Jason Bull. She had an arc at the start of season 1, but creatively the series went in a different direction moving into season 2. That was at least how some things appeared at the time.
CBS confirmed the settlement to the Times, which led to Weatherly also issuing the following statement:
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script. 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 for why news of this confidential settlement is coming out now, it is related to an independent examination into CBS’ culture following the sexual misconduct charges that were levied against former CEO Les Moonves. The settlement effectively constitutes what Dushku would have been paid in the event that she had been a regular on the show for the four seasons that followed season 1. (Typically, many actors when they first sign to shows sign contracts that could potentially keep them on board for six seasons. Dushku was not a regular in season 1, and her situation could have easily turned out differently.)
So where does this put the future of Bull? We would say that the situation is a little bit more precarious than it may have otherwise been.This is a story that will undoubtedly create likability issues for the series’ star, though the broader commercial impact remains to be seen. CBS is planning at present to bring the show back on the air in the new year, in the same timeslot Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Of course, we welcome your thoughts in the comments below; given the sensitive nature of the subject matter, we do ask that the comments be respectful and on-topic to the situation. (Photo: CBS.)