According to Dushku, Weatherly commented on her appearance, made remarks about a threesome, played provocative songs when she went by, and even joked about taking her to his “rape van.” Nearly all of which were recorded by the show’s cameras.
The actress received a $9.5 million settlement after detailing the sexual misconduct she faced at the hands of her costar, Michael Weatherly. However, because she spoke out about the harassment, Dushku was fired from her role on the television show.
“In explaining his bad behavior, Weatherly, who plays Dr. Bull, claimed I didn’t get his attempt at humor. … I did not overreact. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired,” Dushku wrote in an op-ed for the Boston Globe.
Although part of CBS’s settlement with Dushku involved confidentiality, she decided against remaining silent after reading statements Weatherly and writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron made to the New York Times. It was an article for which Dushuku had declined to interview for in order to respect the settlement, but upon seeing the men’s comments, she could no longer stay silent.
Weatherly has stated that he was “mortified” to have caused this distress to Dushku. “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,” he said in a statement.
A spokesperson for CBS has also commented on Dushku’s allegations. “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,” the network stated.
“The boys’ club remains in full force at CBS,” Dushku added. Additionally, she explained that Weatherly “bragged about his friendship with CBS chief executive Les Moonves.”
“He regaled me with stories about using Moonves’ plane, how they vacationed together, and what great friends they were,” she continued. “Weatherly wielded this special friendship as an amulet and, as I can see now, as a threat.”
Because of allegations against Moonves, and now Weatherly too, workplace culture at CBS is under a fair amount of scrutiny.
“I am still trying to make sense of how this could happen, especially in these times,” Dushku concluded in her op-ed.
Dushku has asked the network to “designate an individual trained in sexual harassment compliance to monitor Weatherly and the show in general.”
She has also asked to meet with Steven Spielberg, whose company co-produced “Bull” to potentially make changes. This meeting has yet to happen.
Large companies, such as CBS, have identified the need for change within their workplace environments. However, this is as far as the progress has gotten. Until men within companies are insistently held accountable for their actions and issues of sexual misconduct are no longer ignored, real change will not occur.
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