The “he said/she said” drama of workplace harassment is still ubiquitous in America, including in the world of movies and television. NCIS seemed like it was filled with one big happy family, something the cast and crew still try to imply to the media. With Pauley Perrette’s recent comments about Mark Harmon, though, we’re all reassessing what the environment was really like on that set for the last 17 years.
Was it really a toxic environment there for the women, including Perrette? According to her recent tweets, Harmon was abusive to her, despite CBS and Harmon himself adamantly denying the charges.
CBS now says the matter is resolved, yet we wonder if it was swept under the rug too fast.
What did CBS say that suggested the matter was over?
CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl was recently asked about the Perrette matter at the Television Critics Association press tour for the summer. Kahl, being a woman, no doubt relates to what Perrette might have gone through, outside of claiming the matter was resolved a couple of years ago.
In the quote, Kahl notes Perrette came to CBS execs with a workplace complaint. They supposedly resolved it then, and everyone moved on. Perrette, of course, left the show last year without any on-screen goodbye with Harmon’s Gibbs character.
Many think they were separated from being in the same scenes together later because they apparently had some sort of clash. What this incident was, however, is still unknown.
Kahl claims she isn’t overly familiar with Perrette’s Twitter comments recently suggesting Harmon physically assaulted the actress on-set. It’s still disturbing to know Perrette apparently feels perpetually afraid of being anywhere near Harmon.
Kahl said: “I can’t speak to what she’s addressing in her tweets. She came to us with a workplace concern, we immediately investigated it and resolved it to everyone’s satisfaction and we’re very happy to have her on the air with us this year. I don’t think she’d be back with us if she had huge concerns.”
Should there be a more serious investigation based on Pauley Perrette’s tweets?
For some, Kahl’s comments about Perrette might seem like corporate coldness over what might have happened. From the network perspective, it seems they’re more focused on bringing Perrette back to CBS for a new sitcom next season and don’t want any drama getting in the way.
Should they reopen an investigation after Perrette’s tweets in the last couple of months? If she thinks a real crime took place, she should at least have it investigated by L.A. law enforcement.
Then again, we all saw her haunting comment about a so-called publicity war machine preventing her from taking any action on the matter. Is CBS part of this machine she’s talking about? If there’s any truth there, it could be a lot more haunting realizing a powerful woman at CBS is upholding Harmon’s reputation.
The biggest problem is evidence and the lack of it two years later. Perrette did post pics on Twitter of a crew member supposedly bitten by Harmon’s dog. As for being assaulted herself, she hasn’t shown any physical evidence of injuries she might have incurred if Harmon did anything at all.
Maybe Pauley Perrette has evidence in-wait
Being so bold as to say Harmon did something serious maybe wouldn’t be said by Perrette without having evidence in her possession. She might have been afraid to release it due to the “machine” pressuring her to not.
To the rest of us, it seems almost impossible that Harmon would do such a thing considering he’s said to be one of the nicest and humblest people in Hollywood. Not that we can’t imagine him being human like everybody else and maybe slipping up in being physical if someone became too aggressive.
From all indications, the situation occurred after Perrette complained directly to Harmon about his dog attacking a crew member on the set. Was it just a simple misunderstanding leading to Harmon becoming gruff?
Those tweets from Perrette may be the end of it, but it’s more painful to realize an assault case will forever be ignored in a time when more women aren’t afraid any longer to speak out against crimes against them.