Eliza Dushku, known for her roles on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tru Calling, has been awarded a settlement of $9.5 million from CBS following a series of incidences of sexual misconduct on the set of the drama series Bull. The comments in question came from her co-star Michael Weatherly, who stars as the eponymous Jason Bull, a psychologist who operates a jury consulting firm.
This sadly isn't Dushku's only foray into the #MeToo movement. Previously, Dushku recounted a much earlier incident of sexual misconduct, dating back to her childhood role in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led action film True Lies. Dushku wrote in a January 2018 Facebook post that she was molested by the movie's stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer, who she said was "grooming" her for a period of time before the act occurred in a Miami hotel room. Among those who spoke up after her comments were the film's director, James Cameron, who denied knowing about the incident at the time of its occurrence and calling it "heartbreaking." Now, she's dealing with a similar issue.
An official report from The New York Times details Dushku's claims regarding Bull, as well as the action taken by the network, her lawyers, and Amblin Television, which is Steven Spielberg's company. Dushku shared with her lawyers and the CBS employees through mediation the array of suggestive statements made by Weatherly over the course of her three-episode arc at the end of the show's first season. According to the report, Weatherly made comments regarding Dushku's appearance (calling her "legs" at one time) and joking about physical intimacy with her. The actress then went to producer and showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron, who encouraged her to speak with Weatherly personally.
Shortly after this exchange, Dushku was let go as a character that she had been made to believe might evolve into a starring role. Following an uncomfortable moment while wrapping the first season, at which point she knew she would not be returning, Dushku chose to begin mediation with the network rather than file a lawsuit stating that she was fired unfairly. The settlement amount of $9.5 million, which was granted around the same time as her aforementioned Facebook post, was meant to take the place of what she would have likely received as a cast member on the CBS show over the course of a few seasons.
CBS certainly hasn't had things easy in the legal department over the last couple of years. In fact, the details of this case came to light during the recent investigation into the network's former CEO Les Moonves, who was accused of multiple accounts of sexual misconduct from six different women. In addition to Moonves himself, a larger look into the company's '"cultural issues" was a part of this investigation. Though Dushku's victory is a small one in the grand scheme of things, it certainly is a step in the right direction in getting to the bottom of how things are run at CBS, as well as the whole entertainment industry in general.
Bull airs Mondays at 10pm EST on CBS.
Source: The New York Times