CBS is coming under some pretty intense scrutiny after actors on the show NCIS: New Orleans claim that the broadcaster set up a robbery scene that endangered their lives. According to TMZ, a lawsuit against the company has been filed and it claims that CBS orchestrated a “guerilla-style” heist scene and did not obtain the necessary permits to do so. Because of this alleged negligence, the police were called to the scene and drew their weapons on the actors.
The lawsuit alleges that CBS approached two actors and the owner of a local New Orleans jewelry store back in 2017 about being a part of this robbery scene. All the parties agreed and assumed that the production had obtained necessary permits to shoot there and had also alerted any neighbors of the scene that was going to take place. According to these two actors, that is not what happened.
The scene involved a staged robbery where the actors jumped out of an unmarked van while wearing ski masks and brandishing imitation assault rifles. After one of the actors yelled, “This is a robbery!”, another nearby store owner believed this was actually happening. The vendor immediately contacted the police. When the police arrived, the actors claim that the officers drew their firearms on the actors with the intention to kill them if they did not cooperate. Evidently, it was revealed that this was a CBS production and the situation was de-escalated.
Due to the “terrifying and traumatizing” incident, the actors and the jewelry store owner are suing CBS for damages. It is unclear exactly what proper permits and steps CBS took in order to set up the staging of this scene. All of that information (or potential lack thereof) should become available after being presented during the lawsuit. As of this writing, CBS has not commented on the allegations or the lawsuit.
What is pretty scary is that this seems to be a recurring event. Not necessarily with CBS, but we recently ran a report about a movie set being fired upon by police in the Dominican Republic. These kinds of dangers should never even be a possibility during film or television production. The idea that actors could lose their lives due to incompetence on the part of the movie studio and/or the police is simply unacceptable.
It should be reiterated that these claims against CBS are just that at this point. The lawsuit has yet to reveal any evidence of the standoff with police. On the flip side, CBS has not responded to the allegations to even deny them. That definitely does not engender confidence from anyone wanting to support CBS.
At the very least, if this incident did take place, no one was harmed. There could absolutely be psychological and emotional damage and that is something the plaintiffs should be compensated for. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out in the courts. If we learn of any developments that seem important enough, we will update this piece with that information.