Twentieth Century Fox Television is reviewing a sexual-harassment claim against Zachary Lutsky, a prominent Hollywood medical consultant who currently works on Fox’s “The Resident” and was the subject of a human-resources investigation while working on ABC Studios “Code Black,” Variety has learned.
“We have only recently learned of these allegations through an inquiry from a reporter,” said a spokesman for 20th Century Fox TV. “We are not aware of any claims made concerning his conduct on ‘The Resident.’ We take these matters seriously and are reviewing this.”
Lutsky served as a medical consultant on season two of “Code Black,” which is produced by ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios. Three sources close to the production told Variety that in 2016 Lutsky had already been informed that his contract would not be picked up for the following season when two female employees told producers that they had been subjected to continuous verbal sexual harassment by Lutsky over a period of several months. The two women met with producers on Dec. 12. The following day, Lutsky was informed that a human-resources investigation into the complaint had been opened. He was asked not to return to the production.
“I am quite disturbed by these heartbreaking anonymous allegations,” Lutsky said in a statement to Variety. “I take them very seriously and categorically deny them. I sincerely care for the feelings of everyone I encounter, including friends and co-workers, and I conduct myself in a way that treats all people with dignity and respect. As a physician, I have dedicated my life to helping those in need. In my 16 years of practice, I have never been accused of any wrongdoing. True harassment allegations are serious. I have never engaged in, been fired for nor been found guilty of any allegation of misconduct — ever.”
According to sources, Lutsky had only days left on “Code Black” when the harassment complaint was received and he was asked to leave the production. After CBS ordered three additional episodes of season two instead of a traditional nine-episode extension of the initial 13-hour order, several writers, Lutsky included, were told that they would no longer be needed after work was completed on episode 13.
Variety also learned that a human resources investigation against Lutsky was opened while he worked on Sony Pictures Television’s “The Night Shift” by an employee who witnessed what they though was a sexual harassment incident. The investigation was closed when the subject of the alleged harassment defended Lutsky, saying that the incident had been misinterpreted by the observer.
A spokesperson for ABC Studios, the lead producer on “Code Black,” declined to comment. Among the series Lutsky previously worked on were CBS Television Studios’ “A Gifted Man”; Warner Bros. Television’s “Miami Medical” and “ER”; and Sony Pictures Television’s “The Mob Doctor.” He was credited as a producer on multiple episodes of “Code Black,” and has not worked since then on a Disney-owned project. He was hired as a consultant on the pilot for of Warner Bros. drama series “Hart of Dixie” but was not hired to stay with the production after the pilot went to series.
In addition to his television experience, Lutsky is an active physician who works in emergency medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. A representative for Cedars-Sinai declined to comment.