Eliza Dushku Testifies About Sexual Harassment And Firing At CBS In New Video

By Carolyn Jenkins | 8 seconds ago

eliza dushku

If fans are wondering where Eliza Dushku has been for the past few years, they’re not alone. The popular actress had been working consistently since the 1990s when she first appeared in the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film True Lies. Dushku’s career only took off from there. She went on to act in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bring It On. She worked consistently until 2017 when her credits stopped altogether. Now Dushku has come forward, shedding light on the specifics of her unjust circumstances.

On Tuesday, Eliza Dushku testified before a congressional committee on the sexual harassment she suffered while working on the CBS television series Bull. At the time, the actress had brought her concerns about the unprofessional workplace to the star and producer of the show Michael Weatherly, who also happened to be the perpetrator. Dushku reports she was promptly fired and because of an arbitration clause she had signed, she would never be allowed to talk about it. Only because of her subpoena to testify in front of the House Judiciary committee is she now allowed to tell this story. Bull was the last show she worked on and she has not worked since 2017.

Eliza Dushku recounts her experiences for the committee in the video below. The content of this video contains Dushku’s testimony and is sensitive material that details her experiences with reported sexual harassment on set.

Eliza Dushku describes the horrendous treatment she endured on the set of Bull. As a professional actress, she was committed to the role and wanted to make relationships work on the show. While working alongside Weatherly, she recalls being confronted with the lewd language her co-worker used. On one such occasion, Dushku describes in detail the time when she was in the middle of a monologue which she had rehearsed considerably. Weatherly shouted “that he and his buddy wanted to have a threesome with me and began mock penis jousting while the camera was still rolling. Then, as I walked off to my coffee break between scenes, a random male crew member sidled up to me at the food service table and whispered, ‘I am with Bull. I want to have a threesome with you too, Eliza.’”

This was not the entirety of her treatment on set. Eliza Dushku reports that she experienced encounters constantly. “He would smell me and leeringly look me up and down. Off script, in front of about 100 crew members and cast members, he once said that he would take me to his ‘rape’ van.” Dushku states that as the co-star, Weatherly set the tone for the set. And when she asked him to tone down the sexualization, he texted the studio head. She was fired the next day.

Eliza Dushku is articulate and reserved in the video, taking the time to point out to the committee exactly the issues of why she wants them to repeal specific legislation that allows arbitration clauses in employee contracts. Her testimony is important in that it is considered context for why arbitration clauses should be taken out of employment cases. Arbitration is the reason that Dushku was unable to share her experience. She reached a settlement with CBS for $9.5 million and was told this was a confidential agreement. She was then shocked to learn of the New York Times article expanding on her settlement. Weatherly defended himself by saying that his language was an attempt at humor and he immediately apologized. This does not follow events that Dushku described, and until now, she wasn’t able to make her side of events known. Weatherly violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement by making such statements. 

Since then, Eliza Dushku has not had the opportunity to work. This experience has significantly impacted her life. The actress has even noted that many people bound by arbitration will never have the chance to speak out as she has. This speaks to what has impacted Dushku’s career but not what will happen next. Dushku hopes that this will help end arbitration so working professionals like her will not be taken advantage of. Dushku’s relevance in pop culture helps bring this issue to light.