It’s a good news, bad news kind of day for Global’s hit legal drama “Bull”, which was just renewed for a fourth season on the same day that executive producer Steven Spielberg and his production company, Amblin TV, announced Amblin’s association with the show is now over in the wake of sexual harassment allegations lodged against star Michael Weatherly by actress Eliza Dushku.
“Steven Spielberg, Amblin Television, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are no longer attached to ‘Bull’,” an Amblin rep said in a statement to Deadline before “declining further comment.”
Earlier this year, Dushku, 39, was awarded a $9.5-million settlement over her allegations that Weatherly made sexually suggestive comments to her and exhibited offensive behaviour, creating a toxic environment on the set.
According to a previous Deadline report, Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw are pioneering supporters of the Time’s Up movement, and sources indicate that Spielberg — who met with Dushku to discuss her allegations — “didn’t want to be associated with the series any longer,” despite the financial windfall for producers of a hit network television series.
“I actually spent the morning with the three heads of the Time’s Up organization and Mr. Steven Spielberg,” said the former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actress. “We sat and brainstormed and discussed possible solutions for this systemic imbalance of power, the abuse and harassment that we’ve been seeing and hearing and experiencing and both in our industry and beyond.”
Dushku had been brought on the show on a recurring basis to play the love interest of Weatherly’s character, but was fired after complaining about the former “NCIS” star’s on-set behaviour.
In a subsequent statement, Weatherly denied having anything to do with Dushku being fired, but did own up to behaviour that was “both not funny and not appropriate,” adding that he was “sorry” for the pain he had caused her.
“I have been around for almost 30 years. I had worked and built myself up to a place where you know I wasn’t off the bus and yet on a set I didn’t have a voice,” Dushku told Deadline, explaining her decision to speak out. “After all those years, to find myself feeling powerless and feeling victimized was not, it was more important to me to tell the truth and face the consequences.”