CBS Boss Defends Bull Renewal After Michael Weatherly Accusations: 'People Continued to Watch'

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There were a lot of talking points at the Television Critics Association on Thursday for CBS. 

One of the biggest was the network's decision to hand out a fourth season renewal to Bull following allegations of sexual assault against its star, Michael Weatherly. 

CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl told reporters at the event that the decision was somewhat based on the fact that the ratings didn't take a hit following the allegations. 

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"It's a show that does very well. It's a very popular show. More than 10 million people watch every week," he said. 

"Michael is loved by our audience and even after these allegations came out people continued to watch," he continued.

Related: CBS Boss Defends Renewing Bull

"It's a popular show that we want to keep on the air. And it's a very good show as well."

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Weatherly was accused of harassment by his former co-star, Eliza Dushku, but the allegations did not become public until 2018 when an investigation into former CBS CEO Les Moonves was carried out. 

Details of the $9.5 million settlement between CBS and Dushku came to light at that time. 

Dushku alleged that she was let go from the series after cornering Weatherly about his behavior towards her on the procedural drama's set. 

The actress revealed following the news going public that a documented incident involved Weatherly of asking her to visit his "rape van, filled with all sorts of lubricants and long phallic things."

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It is said that the $9.5 million settlement is the equivalet of what she would have earned had she remained with the series for four seasons in a regular capacity. 

Dushku's role was initially supposed to grow more prominent from the initial recurring guest star stage. 

Related: Bull Controversy: Steven Spielberg, Amblin TV Bail Following Michael Weatherly Allegations

Kahl defended the renewal in May, conceding that Weatherly "owned the mistake" and "was willing to take any kind of coaching or training."

What's more, Kahl revealed on Thursday that the cast and crew had agreed to participate in a leadership training  series to coach them on "how to set a positive example for everybody."

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"We found out about the settlement at the same time that you did. We took a 360 view of the entire situation when we found out about that," Kahl continued. 

"We wanted to look at it with fresh eyes. What we found was, in Michael's case, no incidents, no complaints at his time at Bull and none on either side of the isolated incident on Bull."

"He was, at the time, remorseful and apologetic. When the settlement came out and was made public, he was remorseful again and apologized," he said.

"He is undergoing coaching right now — leadership coaching. He is taking his responsibility as the head of a show to make a set a positive place to work," Kahl continued.

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"We were just there last week and the entire cast and crew had just undergone some training before the start [of the season]. They're all in a good place. [Showrunner] Glenn [Gordon Caron] is also undergoing leadership training. It has started and it will continue in the future."

"All of our shows, everyone top to bottom, is receiving training now," said Kahl.

"We've had the situations with bad behavior from showrunners ... I can't add a lot more to it than the expectation of our showrunners is very clear that they will run a very welcoming set for everyone on it, from top to bottom."

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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