The showrunner for a hit primetime series has been removed from their post. According to The Hollywood Reporter, All Rise creator and co-showrunner, Greg Spottiswood (Ice Men, King) has been terminated from the CBS series. This news comes following an investigation into claims of alleged misconduct brought by a group of former writers of the show last year. Producers of the legal drama, Warner Bros. Television, released a statement on the situation:
“Warner Bros. Television has relieved All Rise executive producer Greg Spottiswood of his duties, effective immediately. Executive producer Dee Harris-Lawrence will continue to serve as showrunner of the series, working closely with fellow executive producers Michael M. Robin and Len Goldstein. We remain committed, at all times, to providing a safe and inclusive working environment on our productions and for all employees.” via The Hollywood Reporter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an article from The New York Times in August of 2020 detailed the abrupt resignation of five writers from the CBS series. Many alleged Spottiswood had ignored their concerns about how race and gender were being allegedly handled within the show. Two of the senior writers, Shernold Edwards (A Day Late and a Dollar Short) and co-showrunner Sunril Nayar (CSI: Miami, Revenge) spoke candidly about their experiences at the time.
“We had to do so much behind the scenes to keep these scripts from being racist and offensive,” Edwards stated in the Times via The Hollywood Reporter. The five writers – all persons of color – feared many of the characters of color were being reduced to harmful stereotypes, lacking authenticity in a series that tackles the nuances of the justice system.
“It became clear to me, when I left the show, that I was only there because I’m the brown guy,” Nayar said in the Times article via The Hollywood Reporter. “Greg hired me to be his brown guy,” Nayar stated in the article according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to his removal from the series, Spottiswood was dropped by his agency, APA, according to The Hollywood Reporter. APA released the full statement below:
“Greg Spottiswood is no longer a client. APA is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion at the highest levels, and we stand with our clients and industry partners in our commitment to furthering that mission.” via The Hollywood Reporter
Currently airing its second season, All Rise follows the ongoings of a Los Angeles courthouse where Lola Carmichael presides as a newly appointed judge. The former DA is played by Simone Missick (Luke Cage, Altered Carbon) and is CBS’s single drama series featuring a Black female as the main lead. The series sports a diverse cast including Wilson Bethel (Daredevil, Hart of Dixie), Jessica Camacho (Another Life, The Flash), Marg Helgenberger (CSI, Species), and Ruthie Ann Miles (Over the Moon, I Am Michael).