Law & Order Showrunner Accused Of Sexual Harassment And Toxic Behavior On Set

By Sean Thiessen | Published

law & order

Law & Order: SVU has a new case to solve, but this is not one for Mariska Hargitay and her detective co-stars. The New York Post reports that David Graziano, who took over as the SVU showrunner at the start of the show’s current season, has been accused by multiple colleagues of sexual harassment and toxic behavior in the workplace. Graziano and Alafair Hall, the showrunner’s spokesperson, have denied the allegations.

Haley Cameron, a former script coordinator for Law & Order: SVU, called Graziano, “…very unprofessional, ego-centric, and immature,” claiming that the showrunner exhibited, “…pure, white-male misogyny.” Cameron levied the accusations on an industry listserv, adding a plea to her fellow workers to proceed with caution before working with Graziano, whose behavior, Cameron claims, led to her quitting her job on the series.

Cameron’s grievances about Graziano were quickly backed up, unearthing claims that went back long before Graziano’s time on Law & Order. Amy Hartman, a script coordinator on Graziano’s previous show, the Paramount+ series Coyote, echoed the opinion that her former boss created a toxic work environment. Hartman detailed her experience working with Graziano as being in a constant state of, “fight or flight.”

During his one season stint on the Fox drama Lie to Me, Graziano allegedly fired a writer in a fit of rage over a casting choice. The story was corroborated by two eye-witnesses. Another Lie to Me writer, this one male, reported that Graziano would talk during writing room sessions about hitting on women. An anonymous source, who claimed to once be an assistant to Graziano, also came forward with claims of sexual harassment toward her and other women, as well as an occurrence of abuse in in which Graziano threw a pair of jeans at her and commanded she purchase more. 

Kelli Giddish on Law & Order: SVU.

Other past colleagues of Graziano’s have come forward to recount the executive’s outbursts of anger over trivial matters, constant crying from employees in offices he ran, and his incessant comments about women. The claims about Graziano’s inappropriate behaviors over a long period of time come from both men and women who have worked with him. Though allegations against Graziano have not yet been confirmed, the long list from a wide range of sources reveals a pattern leading up to the most recent claims coming from the Law & Order set.

The Law & Order: SVU showrunner, along with his team, have so far denied all allegations of inappropriate and toxic workplace behavior, claiming in each case, that the allegations are painted in an unfairly negative light. Graziano maintains that, while he may be difficult at times, has never crossed the lines people have accused him of crossing in the workplace.

David Graziano took the reins of Law & Order: SVU in June, 2022, succeeding the show’s previous showrunner, Warren Leight. Now in its midseason hiatus, the 24th season of NBC’s hit drama has already seen the departure of one of its longest tenured stars, Kelli Giddish, though for reasons not known to involve Graziano. Given the current hot water Graziano finds himself in after a slew of accusations, his departure from the show may be next.