Michael Weatherly’s “Bull” was a big hit for CBS when it launched in 2016. CBS reported that Weatherly’s character, Jason Bull, was “loosely based” on the early part of Dr. Phil McGraw’s career as a jury consultant. But “Bull” was also a headache for the network. In 2018, The New York Times reported that CBS agreed to a confidential settlement with “Bull” actor Eliza Dushku, paying her $9.5 million. The settlement was the amount the network determined Dushku would have earned if she was a cast member on “Bull” for four seasons. Dushku claimed that once producers decided her character would be the on-screen love interest of the titular Jason Bull, Weatherly “remarked on her appearance and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome.” The Times reported that after Dushku confronted Weatherly about his behavior, she was fired from the series.
Weatherly addressed the situation with Dushku in a statement: “When Eliza told me that she wasn’t comfortable with my language and attempt at humor, I was mortified to have offended her and immediately apologized. After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate. I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza.” In 2021, Deadline reported Dushku testified before the House Judiciary Committee about her experience being “fired in silence” from “Bull,” and urged Congress to pass laws to protect more women against sexual harassment.