The move comes after series star Michael Weatherly was accused of making inappropriate comments to actress Eliza Dushku on set, with Dushku eventually receiving a $9.5 million settlement. Spielberg was an executive producer on the show along with Amblin TV heads Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, but will not be going forward for the show’s recently announced fourth season.
Dushku appeared in the first season of the procedural, initially being brought on for a three-episode arc with plans to make her a regular cast member. But during her time on set, Dushku says that Weatherly repeatedly made sexual remarks and jokes in her presence.
In one such instance, Dushku says her character held up three fingers in a scene, after which Weatherly made a joke about engaging in a threesome with her and another man. She also said Weatherly made a comment about spanking her in front of the cast and crew, and invited her to his “rape van” (which Weatherly said was a reference to a line in “Bull”).
Dushku said she approached Weatherly to say the remarks made her uncomfortable. Shortly thereafter, her character was written off the show. Weatherly issued an apology once the allegations became public, but insisted he did not get Dushku removed from the show.
CBS has been plagued with allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct at its highest levels for some time. Most prominently, longtime CBS boss Leslie Moonves was ousted from the company last year following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault going back decades.
As Variety previously reported, CBS recently set new human resources standards across the company and all of their productions. Going forward, each CBS Studios production will now have a dedicated HR person assigned to it. Furthermore, CBS is installing a new third party system for filing complaints with HR.