So remember how Michael Weatherly was reportedly acting like a creep on the set of his hit series Bull to co-star Eliza Dushku? So much so that she told him and then got fired because of it? And then she got paid almost $10 million in severance? Well since then the show has been still on the air, and still pulling in the ratings (around 10 million viewers a week). So when a CBS executive was asked about how the show was still going after the sexual misconduct came to light, they straight up admitted, “You don’t really care, so why should we?”
Variety says that during the Television Critics Association press tour, CBS network head, Kelly Kahl, got put in the hot seat when it came to some issues about the network he helps run. But first a little backstory…
Eliza came onto Bull as a guest star and was going to transition into a series regular, but then Michael got creepy with her. She had a talk with the show’s producer and later Michael himself. After that conversation, she was dropped, and later threatened to sue. Since CBS didn’t want the bad press, they went with her to mediation and later paid her $9.5 million, which is what her contract was worth. Michael also admitted to saying gross things to her.
Steven Spielberg‘s company Amblin ended up breaking up with Bull, but not much else has happened. It’s business as usual, and Kelly has a great reason for why the show is still on the air and they’re still paying Michael–I’m assuming–millions of dollars a year: it’s very popular and you all still like him, so who really cares? He said:
“I can’t speak for Amblin, but to us, it’s a show that does very well. It’s a very popular show. More than 10 million people watch every week. Michael is loved by our audience, and even after these allegations came out, people continued to watch. It’s a popular show we want to keep on our air, and it’s a very good show as well.”
Another point of contention from the question-givers during the tour was the messy racism going down at another CBS show, Big Brother. One reporter asked why producers asked the only black female cast member to act in a more “stereotypical way” and why they edited out racist comments toward her made by a white cast member. Senior executive VP of programming Thom Sherman said a producer had “overstepped” trying to get a sound bite.
Thom also assured people that the contestants on the show always say they feel positively about their experiences. I guess they get polled at the end? Sounds normal.
But don’t worry, even leadership is getting unconscious bias training so they can stop being unintentionally racist and sexist. What treasures:
“I don’t want to tell you every single person has taken every single course, but we’ve had a lot of it offered and I encourage all of our people to take it because you can learn a lot and it’s good for all our executives to be exposed to new ways of doing things.”
Offered? You offered the courses? Yeah, nobody took those. Like the already ethnic people took them hoping some white people would be there and they weren’t. And clearly they worked since you implemented them before this newest season of Big Brother where you made the black cast members look angry on purpose.
Thom also says he’s “proud” of the steps the network has taken in doing diversity inclusion, bringing up all the women and people of color directors and writers on shows which are like low 50s, so yay to that; more people to keep away from Michael Weatherly, I guess.