Published Dec 20, 2018Eliza Dushku has detailed her experiences of harassment on the set of Bull in a new op-ed.
It was revealed last week by the New York Times that Dushku had reached a $9.5 million USD settlement with CBS after she complained about sexual harassment on set by co-star Michael Weatherly and was subsequently fired from the television series.
Upon realizing that Weatherly and writer-producer Glenn Gordon Caron had commented in the Times article (against the terms of the settlement), Dushku has aired her side of the story in an opinion piece for the Boston Globe.
In it, she accuses Weatherly and Caron of disseminating "deflection, denial and spin" in the Times article, and accuses CBS of perpetuating a "locker room" environment. Dushku cites growing up with three older brothers, and working with the likes of Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Boreanaz, Howard Stern and Kevin Smith, claiming she can hold her own in the presence of men and knows how to take a joke.
"I do not want to hear that I have a 'humor deficit' or can't take a joke," she writes, in response to Weatherly's assertions that he didn't mean to offend her. "I did not overreact. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired."
Dushku describes the "jokes" that were made, including offers to "take me to his 'rape van with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things," name-calling, playing provocative music when she walked onto the set, invitations for threesomes, smelling her, talking about his sperm, and threatening to "spank you like a little girl" when she flubbed a line.
She alleges that after making inappropriate comments or gestures, Weatherly would exclaim, "Yellow card!" — a mocking reference to sexual harassment training members of the cast and crew has previously received.
She also says that Weatherly frequently bragged about his friendship with former CBS head Les Moonves, who himself is currently facing sexual misconduct allegations.
After personally addressing the behaviour with him, Dushku claims that Weatherly retaliated by essentially asking CBS television president David Stapf to have her written out of the show. She was written out less than 48 hours later.
She also details what she calls Weatherly's "final act of retaliation against me." Dushku explains that at the season wrap party, after specifically asking him not to comment on her appearance, he sarcastically called her up to pull a raffle ticket in front of the entire cast and crew, saying: "I need a beautiful woman to come pull this ticket… A truly beautiful woman . . . hmmm, who could that be?... "Eliza! Yes, the most beautiful woman of all. Yes, Eliza, you have to come pull the raffle ticket!"
Dushku calls the incident "one of the most cruel, most aggressive humiliations I have ever experienced."
She also details further bullying during the settlement negotiations, with CBS pulling a photo of Dushku from Instagram as part of its defence — insinuating that she deserved the harassment received on set and was not offended by it.
Despite maintaining that "the boys' club remains in full force at CBS," Dushku also notes that as part of the settlement, she demanded changes in the workplace culture at the network.
Read her full response to Weatherly, Caron and the New York Times article here.
Earlier this year, Dushku also spoke out about being sexually assaulted by the True Lies stunt coordinator when she was just 12 years old.