Another season, another scandal at CBS’ “Bull.”
The Hollywood Reporter detailed that “Bull” producer Glen Gordon Caron is out after a network investigation found that his allegedly abusive behavior created a toxic environment in the writers’ room. Several writers left because of his bullying.
Also gone after an investigation, but for reasons unstated, co-star Freddy Rodriguez.
This is hardly the first time “Bull” has lived up to its title.
A 2018 New York Times story revealed how “Bull” star Michael Weatherly sexually harassed co-star Eliza Dushku.
Among his many statements captured on video, Weatherly referred to a “rape van” and wanted to spank Dushku.
When Dushku complained, Caron responded by writing her out of the show.
CBS paid $9.5 million to compensate Dushku for the lost wages she would have earned as a series regular.
This was the moment CBS should have acted and fired both Weatherly and Caron.
Fire the star of a TV series?
It’s been done.
Roseanne, Valerie Harper, and David Caruso are three examples that come to mind. All three of their series (“The Conners,” “The Hogans,” and “NYPD Blue”) continued with healthy runs.
Bring in someone else to play Bull’s long-lost brother or sister or cousin.
Instead, the network treated both Weatherly and Caron both to something called “leadership coaching.”
Consider this statement from CBS entertainment president Kelly Kahl months after the Times story broke:
“More than 10 million people watch every week. Michael is loved by our audience and even after these allegations came out, people continue to watch. So it’s a popular show that we want to keep on our air.”
Translation: Weatherly makes us money, so he can do what he wants.
At a time when men in power are at last being held accountable for their outrageous behavior, CBS’ coddling of Weatherly remains appalling.
The network has renewed “Bull” for a mind-boggling sixth season. This is a drama that has long worn out its welcome. CBS would do well to get rid of it.