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Writers quit Carol's Second Act after Patricia Heaton's husband is accused of inappropriate touching

Photo: John Sciulli (Getty Images)

According to The New York Times, a pair of writers have quit CBS’ hospital sitcom Carol’s Second Act after one of them, Broti Gupta, filed a complaint against David Hunt, an executive producer on the show and the husband of star Patricia Heaton. Gupta accused Hunt of “touching her inappropriately on two occasions,” prompting her to go to human resources, with her saying she wanted him to “go through sexual harassment training and see why he had made her uncomfortable” rather than get fired, but after filing her complaint she began to feel like she was being “penalized at work” and eventually decided to quit the show. Margee Magee, another writer (and co-executive producer), also talked to “higher-ups” about some “tensions arising” on the set after Gupta filed her complaint, at which point she also began to feel as though she was being “stripped of responsibilities” and also decided to quit.

The alleged penalizations apparently came in the form of writers being barred from the actual set for filming or rehearsals, preventing them for being able to pitch joke rewrites on the fly. Gupta and Magee say they believe this change was meant to keep them away from Hunt, while also making it more difficult to do their jobs. The showrunners deny this, saying the change was just a coincidence, and the network did ask Hunt to undergo sexual harassment training (which he completed after Gupta had already quit). Both women said they hadn’t intended to quit when the initial complaint was made, with Gupta even noting in the Times story that she didn’t say anything after the first time Hunt allegedly touched her inappropriately because she feared some sort of retaliation at work.

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This comes as CBS has made an effort to overhaul how it responds to sexual misconduct accusations, as it’s also the network that used to be run by Les Moonves, employed Charlie Rose, and paid $9.5 million to Eliza Dushku after she complained about aggressively inappropriate comments from her former Bull co-star Michael Weatherly (not to mention what’s been going on with Survivor).

Update: The headline of this post has been updated to clarify the nature of the allegations against David Hunt.

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