Following an investigation into allegations of racially insensitive remarks from “All Rise” creator and co-showrunner Greg Spottiswood during Season 2 of the CBS series, Warner Bros. Television has severed ties with the TV creator. Co-showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence will become sole showrunner of the show.
“Warner Bros. Television has relieved ‘All Rise’ executive producer Greg Spottiswood of his duties, effective immediately,” according to a statement from a Warner Bros. TV spokesperson. “Executive producer Dee Harris-Lawrence will continue to serve as showrunner of the series, working closely with fellow executive producers Michael M. Robin and Len Goldstein. We remain committed, at all times, to providing a safe and inclusive working environment on our productions and for all employees.”
Deadline first reported news of Spottiswood’s departure. The showrunner has also been dropped as a client by his talent agency, APA.
“APA is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion at the highest levels, and we stand with our clients and industry partners in our commitment to furthering that mission,” the agency said in a statement.
The ouster follows a report from the New York Times last August detailing complaints of Spottiswood’s behavior and leadership in the writers’ room. The courtroom drama starring Simone Missick had its fair share of behind-the-scenes drama, according to the report, with five of the original seven staff writers leaving the show over Spottiswood’s approach to race and gender in the writers’ room. One writer who departed, Shernold Edwards, told the New York Times that “We had to do so much behind the scenes to keep these scripts from being racist and offensive.”
The issues that led to Spottiswood’s firing Wednesday were separate from the specific concerns brought up during Season 1, according to a source familiar with the situation, and were the product of a separate, secondary investigation. But they also related to issues of offensive language surrounding race and culture in the writers’ room.
CBS has not yet made a decision on whether to renew “All Rise” for a third season.