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Eliza Dushku was Sexually Harassed on Set, She Testifies to Congress

TheMaster666

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I just saw this video she shared (which I assume was a remote testimony) where she discussed the kind of lurid sexual comments and demeaning behavior she was subjected to in 2017 on the set of a CBS show. After enduring it and pressing on, dressing in a less appealing manner to avoid the taunts, and finally just confronting the co-star primarily responsible for the demeaning remarks, he feigned shock and secretly texted their employer that he wanted her off.The next day she was promptly fired, and could do absolutely nothing about it thanks to the magic of legal fine print. She was effectively paid by CBS to keep quiet about it. She’s now able to break that silence thanks to a Congressional subpoena. The Congressmen and women are trying to end this disturbing practice of using non-disclosure agreements to cover up the kind of workplace harassment stories I thought were a thing of the past about 50 years ago.

I’m sorry Eliza or anyone had to experience this kind of treatment in this day and age, and it’s about time we ended this practice of obfuscating the truth to protect assholes of the worst kind.
 
B
Btvs fan
That man is a disgrace, thats shocking

Bop

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I think the way the media portrayed it is really unfair because it pretty much leads people to believe Eliza's lying for money or attention when that doesn't really make sense considering she's already famous and married to a billionaire. What did she have to gain from this?
 

ILLYRIAN

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I read the article of what happened to Eliza, what I'd like to do to CBS and that Weatherly guy. I think of fast becoming notion that states the USA is the land of the free.
 

TheMaster666

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I think the way the media portrayed it is really unfair because it pretty much leads people to believe Eliza's lying for money or attention when that doesn't really make sense considering she's already famous and married to a billionaire. What did she have to gain from this?
Especially when she probably stood to gain a lot more by continuing her work (she was under contract for 6 years at least, and she loved the part that was originally written with her in mind for the role). Honestly, I’m kind of shocked that this kind of unacceptable behavior still happens at all, but apparently it still happens, just behind closed doors. The worst thing about it though is the way the studio handled it. You would think something like that should have gotten the co-star fired, if anybody, or at the very least he ought to have been strongly reprimanded. Instead they just fired the victim and paid her to keep mum.
 

Bop

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Especially when she probably stood to gain a lot more by continuing her work (she was under contract for 6 years at least, and she loved the part that was originally written with her in mind for the role). Honestly, I’m kind of shocked that this kind of unacceptable behavior still happens at all, but apparently it still happens, just behind closed doors. The worst thing about it though is the way the studio handled it. You would think something like that should have gotten the co-star fired, if anybody, or at the very least he ought to have been strongly reprimanded. Instead they just fired the victim and paid her to keep mum.
It is really shocking how they handled it. Like how valuable is this guy? I've never heard of him, I have no idea what the show's about and I've only heard of the show when Eliza would talk about it. It does make you wonder what they'd do to an actress they cared less about, one they didn't write a whole part for on the show.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Michael Weatherly had become famous for playing the part of Anthony DiNozzo on NCIS and he was one of the favourite characters there. There is no protection under the law for whistleblowers and non-disclosure agreements are used all the time to keep secrets. Sometimes it is necessary - if you run a company with a secret like the Coke formula, you need it. If you are trying to protect a star from his own misdeeds, maybe the misdeeds are more important than the star.
 

The Bronze

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The powerful look after themselves and their interests. You'll get the occasional sacrifice if there's enough pressure but no real accountability or change. Good on Eliza for speaking out. She seems like a decent person who's gone through more than her fair share of shit.
 

Stake fodder

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Wow, the descriptions are horrific. It's so brave of her to speak out, and I hope Congress will - very belatedly - put an end to this kind of NDA. I'm so tired of comments (not here) that a woman is making complaints to get attention or money. I can't think of one actress whose career benefitted from making such allegations; usually, they're lucky if it does no damage to their career.

It is really shocking how they handled it. Like how valuable is this guy? I've never heard of him, I have no idea what the show's about and I've only heard of the show when Eliza would talk about it. It does make you wonder what they'd do to an actress they cared less about, one they didn't write a whole part for on the show.
Michael Weatherly is the star of the show, so they weren't going to fire him. That doesn't mean they have to treat him like a god, though, untouchable and as if all his demands must be met. That's something that needs to end in Hollywood, too.
 
Bop
Bop
Exactly, I think the actresses have more to lose than gain by speaking out for sure.

KaitKat

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Wow, the descriptions are horrific. It's so brave of her to speak out, and I hope Congress will - very belatedly - put an end to this kind of NDA. I'm so tired of comments (not here) that a woman is making complaints to get attention or money. I can't think of one actress whose career benefitted from making such allegations; usually, they're lucky if it does no damage to their career


What really sucks is that I’ve seen women in a similar position as her stay silent then actually get criticized by people saying that they were too concerned about their careers, then these same people turn around and criticize women who don’t keep silent saying they are attention seeking. It’s really hard to be a woman and stand up for yourself because verbal harassment being a part of life is just so ingrained in our culture.

Like you said I can’t think of a single woman who’s career actually advanced because they spoke their truth. Eliza did take the money that she was owed due to her contract but it did effectively end her career and as she said she is known as the actress who took a settlement for alleged sexual harassment. I’ve seen a lot of criticism online about her around the time this story originally broke that pretty much boiled down to she was problematic and making a big deal about nothing. Nobody should ever be expected to go to work and deal with that or lose their jobs for respectfully asking someone to tone it down.
 

Stake fodder

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Eliza did take the money that she was owed due to her contract but it did effectively end her career and as she said she is known as the actress who took a settlement for alleged sexual harassment.
I hope it's not true that her career has ended, but it does look like she hasn't worked on-screen since that incident. I hope speaking out will gain her some work! But when it harms Michael Weatherly's career, that's when we'll know something's really changed.
 
nightshade
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She may have also decided not to work with having children

Nothing13

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What really sucks is that I’ve seen women in a similar position as her stay silent then actually get criticized by people saying that they were too concerned about their careers, then these same people turn around and criticize women who don’t keep silent saying they are attention seeking. It’s really hard to be a woman and stand up for yourself because verbal harassment being a part of life is just so ingrained in our culture.
It is a serious problem. There are many people that like to talk, criticize, and judge others continuously. They will always find a way to criticize someone in every situation even when there aren't sufficient elements to express personal judgments on other people or they are incoherent like the situation you described. Sometimes it is necessary the emotional strength of not caring about others' comments and judgment and go on with "your truth" in order to express it coherently, logically and, if possible, prove it.

it’s about time we ended this practice of obfuscating the truth to protect assholes of the worst kind.
I think that, unfortunately, it will be very difficult and probably many years or even decades will pass. For me, Hollywood is a rotten environment (particularly for women), probably what is publically known is only the tip of an iceberg.
Like others have said, powerful people always look after themselves and their interests. I think that also many "non-abusers" in powerful positions in this environment don't care about changing anything.

Great for Eliza that decided to speak openly
 

thetopher

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It seems like a classic 'damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario' that she was caught in, through no fault of her own. I understand why she took the option she did, the studio were scum for how they acted.

The thing is I saw this story when it first came out and her claims are very, very easy to verify one way or the other since a lot of them happened on-set in front of other people; it was never a he-said, she said thing, and yet he was protected and she was summarily dismissed. Crappy.


I can't think of what she could've done differently in this situation...but I know what I would've been tempted to do; maybe hire a few big burly fellas to hang around the 'Bull' studio lot. Not to threaten, you understand, just to 'compliment' Weatherly a lot as he went about his work day.
Like 'hey, nice ass Weatherly', 'say, Weatherly I think you're really sexy.' 'Hey, Mickey, you up for a threesome, a hear that you're always up for a threesome, wild boy!'
This way the lead actor can know how it feels to do what he did to Eliza and allowed to get away with.

But I'm just vindictive that way.
 

Punkie

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She CHOSE the non-disclosure agreement. She didn’t have to take the money and shut up. She chose that. It wasn’t the only available option.

So another already-wealthy person collects more money for “enduring” what most women have endured for 0 dollars. And Boo-Hoo, she has to keep quiet.

Cry me a river.
 

The Bronze

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She CHOSE the non-disclosure agreement. She didn’t have to take the money and shut up. She chose that. It wasn’t the only available option.

So another already-wealthy person collects more money for “enduring” what most women have endured for 0 dollars. And Boo-Hoo, she has to keep quiet.

Cry me a river.
I'm sure her first choice would have been to work in a professional environment and not to be fired for being a victim of harassment. Unfortunately it wasn't available to her. Not sure why you're gunning for her when she was asked to provide an account of her experience.
 

thrasherpix

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'Course this is something many whistleblowers of all kinds can expect to receive, whether they speak up for themselves or someone else. I also expect many if not most on the congressional committee got off on hearing this testimony or found it vanilla compared to their own personal practices behind closed doors and makes it good political theatre as well.
 

RonWesley

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I cant find any sources stating that Dushku's husband would be a billionaire. Rich, sure. Billionaire, not so much.

Whistleblower in the current USA means prison, and be happy if thats all you get. I would not advise anyone to be a whistleblower in the current USA, and if you want to be one, well be very very careful. Sure, Edward Snowden got away, but Juliane Assange had much less luck. Its funny how those who report on the crime receive the harshest treatment, those who did the crimes get no penatly, and yet the US public doesnt seem to care.

Fortunately Dushku's reporting about sexual harassment, which doesnt challenge power, so she's excempt from such treatment.

Still its weird she needs any special rights to violate her NDA. Any NDA that blocks people from reporting sexual harrassment should be illegal in the first place.
 

The Bronze

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Same in the UK. Good luck trying to get any justice against the rich and powerful. We've got the farcical situation of movie stars like Sienna Miller who can't afford to complete a court process against News Group. Even though they've paid out millions/billions to countless celebrities they "admit no illegal activity".
 

thrasherpix

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Whistleblowers suffer at all levels. I've seen them suffer from reporting shady/dodgy charity workers, and many refused to testify for how it would affect future work prospects. I know of tragic incidents where one blew the whistle against clergy. Snitches get stitches may not be literal at all levels of society, but it is metaphorically.

Heck, even school for children is likely to punish whistleblowers than fix a problem (through granted, blowing the whistle against the jocks is much more likely to get retaliation than against those considered deviant, in which case those deemed deviant may actually be acted against). Many families are that way as well.
 
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