CBS has officially decided to renew the series Bull despite the allegations against Michael Weatherly, star of the show. According to Deadline, CBS intends to “go beyond what we’ve done in the past.” The fourth season was picked up even in light of Eliza Dushku’s sexual harassment allegations which has led to a $9.5M settlement.
Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, stated that the renewal was made in hopes of starting the show over “through a fresh lens and new eyes” in light of Weatherly’s apology.
“When we were looking at a decision and what to do with Bull, what happened was something that a lot of us didn’t know about. So, when it came time to make a decision, we wanted to look at it through a fresh lens and new eyes. We wanted to reassess and look at what happened,” Kahl stated.
Kahl added that Weatherly has owned up to his mistake and gave a sincere apology. Because of this, Kahl claims he should deserve a second chance.
“He’s indicated to us that he’s willing to take coaching and training that we deem necessary for him to create a positive environment on the set,” said Kahl. “We looked at the totality of his work on CBS. He’s been with CBS for 14 years and there were no complaints before and none after. He took everything seriously and wants to move forward. He wants to make it better.”
The controversy began last December when Dushku, who was a former actress on the show, reached a settlement of $9.5 million with CBS over sexual harassment claims against Weatherly while she was on the show. Dushku was let go shortly after she had made a formal complaint against Weatherly for lewd remarks that he had allegedly made. Although Weatherly denied any connection to her being fired, he did admit that his comments were both not funny and not appropriate,” apologizing to her for the pain he may have caused her.
Steven Spielberg’s company, Amblin Television, removed all association with the show after the allegations were made, making many question the future of the show. CBS confirmed that CBS Television Studios will continue to produce the show in conjunction with Stage 29 Productions. Glenn Gordon Caron will continue his role as showrunner.
CBS has put extra precautions in place in order to prevent future issues. The procedures involve “an independent, third party reporting system for all employees – both in CBS offices and on sets,” along with “professionals outside of CBS” so that there will be a secondary outlet “providing another confidential reporting option for our production employee base.”