New Harassment Complaint Riles CBS

Broti Gupta, a young writer, says she felt forced to quit her job
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2019 5:46 PM CST
New Harassment Complaint Riles CBS
David Hunt, left, and Patricia Heaton arrive at the 14th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball held at the residence of Susan Harris and Hayward Kaiser on Saturday, June 6, 2015, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Rob Latour/Invision/AP)

Two women have quit their jobs after yet another sexual harassment complaint at CBS, the New York Times reports. Broti Gupta, a writer on Carol's Second Act, complained in September that executive producer David Hunt—husband of the show's star, Patricia Heaton—got handsy with her on two occasions. Gupta, 25, says the 65-year-old hugged her twice after a cast-and-crew dinner and ran his hand along her thigh. Another time, he apparently yanked her by the shoulders while looking for something. So Gupta ran her complaint up the flagpole with showrunners and a human resources exec. "I told them just my own personal code of ethics, which is that if there is space for education instead of punitive measures, then I believe in education," says Gupta.

But that's when tensions rose on the show. Showrunners made sudden changes, barring writers from rehearsal and preventing them from pitching new versions of failed jokes as they used to. Gupta and Margee Magee, a co-executive producer, decided it was all to keep Gupta and Hunt apart. For Gupta, that tore it, and she quit. Magee then expressed concerns with HR and found herself relieved of almost all her writing duties—so she quit. But CBS insists changes at the show were unrelated to Gupta's complaint and says Hunt underwent harassment training, per E! News. "The writer and producer decided to leave the show of their own accord," the network says. (Previous sexual harassment dramas at CBS have included Eliza Dushku, Charlie Rose, and former CEO Les Moonves.)

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