After Eliza Dukshu accused her Bull co-star, Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment, the network and Dukshu reached a $9.5 million settlement, and Dukshu was booted off the show. Somehow, Weatherly emerged virtually unscathed. Though the dust started to settle, negative attention has rightfully returned to the former NCIS star following CBS President Kahl’s most recent statements concerning the matter.
CBS is under fire for putting money over morals, as Kahl cited the show’s continued success as a motivating factor behind the Network’s decision to renew (despite Michael Weatherly’s deplorable actions). According to TV Line, Kahl stated, “It’s a popular show. Michael is loved by our audience…Even after these allegations came out, people continued to watch.”
Michael Weatherly is undergoing “leadership coaching,” which is designed to teach the actor how to set a proper example for other cast members, according to TV Line. Many feel that this training is the network’s lazy attempt to maintain its image and Weatherly’s positive reception following the allegations. Fans have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts, many claiming Weatherly should have been fired:
CBS not doing itself any favours by standing by one of its superstar abusers because his show is “popular” and “very good”. Michael Weatherly should’ve been fired, like Spacey…Twitter user
Sadly, I have come to accept that #MichaelWeatherly got away with sexual harassment, and #CBS isn’t going to do a damn thing about it. But I take comfort in knowing that when his show ends, his career will probably be over. Many don’t coddle perverts the way @CBS CBS does.Twitter user
Some former Bull enthusiasts went on to explain that they will no longer watch the show; meaning, there is a high chance Bull sees a decline in ratings, faces cancellation, and Weatherly gets the punishment he deserves. However, would CBS simply shift him back into NCIS now that Cote de Pablo has returned as his former love interest, Ziva? If so, what does this say about the network’s values?
Michael Weatherly may try to crawl back to ‘NCIS’; CBS should hesitate before allowing him back on the show
Given that Bull will likely see a drastic decline in ratings following President Kahl’s most recent statements, it’s likely that Weatherly will soon be in need of a job. Following the sexual harassment allegations, FOX, NBC, and other major networks and streaming services are unlikely to offer him a position.
What’s bound to happen? Michael Weatherly seems destined to return to NCIS with his tail between his legs, asking to reprise DiNozzo. Given that Cote de Pablo has returned as Ziva, her love interest reappearing would not be a narrative jump; however, Michael Weatherly’s return would be yet another endorsement by CBS.
The head honchos over at CBS may wish to hesitate before allowing Weatherly back on the show. NCIS is the network’s pride and joy and — this time around a— money may prevent a moral sacrifice; the network may be unwilling to place someone on the show who could lead to a decline in ratings.
Money may have prevented Weatherly’s firing this time, but it may be the very reason he fails to find work following Bull, which, as many fans believe, would be a more rightful punishment than leadership coaching.