CBS: Michael Weatherly still on 'Bull' after sex harassment allegations because he is 'loved by our audience'
BEVERLY HILLS – CBS said Michael Weatherly will return for a fourth season of "Bull" despite the network paying $9.5 million to actress Eliza Dushku in a confidential settlement after she complained the actor made jokes involving sex and rape in front of cast and crew in early 2017.
CBS' Kelly Kahl, President of CBS Entertainment, told reporters at the Summer 2019 Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles that "[Bull] is a popular show we want to keep on our air" even after the allegations.
"Michael is loved by our audience," Kahl added. "Even after these allegations came out, people continued to watch.
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Dushku was written off the show reportedly after complaining about Weatherly's behavior. Dushku's allegations and the confidential settlement she reached with CBS were made public in a report by The New York Times last year.
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Kahl also said Weatherly is currently in "leadership training" which focuses on "how to be a leader on set." "Bull" showrunner Glenn Gordon Carson is also in the same training. “None of us are too old and too smart to learn to do something better,” said Kahl. “He is taking his responsibility as the head of a show to make the set a positive place to work."
In December, Weatherly acknowledged and apologized for his inappropriate on-set behavior.
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He said in a statement at the time, "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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.