After facing some backlash over the renewal of Bull for its fourth season, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl spoke out defending the decision.
Many were surprised about the show’s return despite the fact that the show was wrapped in controversy earlier this year when actress Eliza Dushku alleged she was sexually harassed by Weatherly while working on the show and was later fired and then paid $9.5 million because she was supposed to have been on the show as a series regular for several seasons.
Now Kahl says they didn’t think twice about renewing the series despite the allegations against Weatherly because they believed the actors “is honest in his remorse” and we “personally believe he can make a mistake and he admitted to that mistake.”
“What happened was something that a lot of us didn’t know about,” said Kahl of the incident. “We found out when you found out. When it came time to make a decision, we looked at it through a fresh lens, with new eyes, because a lot of us were learning about it for a first time. We reassessed what happened. First and foremost, Michael made a mistake in his comments, he owned that mistake, he apologized at the time. He was remorseful and he apologized again when it came out. He indicated he was willing to take any kind of coaching, whatever training deemed necessary to create a positive environment.”
Kahl went on to explain that the network has added measures to protect everyone on set including anonymous phone lines and “trained HR professionals visiting all our sets on a regular basis.”
He also said that Weaherly’s longstanding time on CBS as one of the main stars of NCIS also played a part. “We looked at the totality of his work,” said Kahl. “He’s been with us for 14 years. There’s never been any complaint. I believe he took everything seriously. He wants to move forward. He’s a dad, he’s upset by this, he wants to make it better.”
While the show has been renewed, and many are looking forward to the new season, Amblin TV which is run by famed director Steven Spielberg immediately cut ties as producers of the series, but made no comment about the move.