Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV pulls out of CBS' Bull in wake of harassment scandal
Amblin TV, the production company headed by Steven Spielberg, has parted ways with CBS’ legal drama Bull, EW has confirmed. The move comes just after CBS renewed the show for a fourth season, despite actress Eliza Dushku’s allegations that the show’s lead, Michael Weatherly, sexually harassed her.
Amblin produced the show, a steady ratings earner for CBS, since its first season. Spielberg held an executive producer credit alongside Amblin TV co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
In December, Dushku wrote a 2,300-word account for the Boston Globe slamming her former costar, as well as Bull writer-producer-turned-showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron and CBS. She detailed alleged incidents including many lewd jokes and inappropriate remarks, such as Weatherly inviting her to his “rape van” and a “remark about having a threesome.”
“I do not want to hear that I have a ‘humor deficit’ or can’t take a joke,” she wrote. “I did not over-react. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired.” CBS eventually paid Dushku a $9.5 million settlement, the amount of her contract had she continued on the show as a series regular for six seasons.
“During the course of taping our show, I made some jokes mocking some lines in the script,” Weatherly said in an emailed statement to the New York Times at the time. “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.”
Caron, who joined Bull in 2017 and later became its showrunner, told the outlet, “The idea that our not exercising her option to join the series was in any way punitive just couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Spielberg reportedly met with Dushku after the allegations came to light, and he and his wife Kate Capshaw are big donors to the Time’s Up movement.
Reps for Amblin had no comment, and CBS reps did not return EW’s request for comment.
Michael Weatherly stars as Dr. Jason Bull, a character inspired by Dr. Phil.