Two female writers have quit the freshman CBS sitcom Carol’s Second Act, starring Patricia Heaton and a silver-fox Kyle MacLachlan, due to misconduct complaints against one of the show’s executive producers — who happens to be Heaton’s husband. Per the New York Times, writer Broti Gupta accused David Hunt of inappropriately touching her on two occasions, which included stroking her thigh and forcefully shaking her shoulders. When Gupta told the network’s human resources department about the incidents, she felt she was “penalized at work” as a result, and subsequently quit the show.
Weeks after her resignation, fellow Carol’s Second Act writer and co-executive producer Margee Magee also quit. She attributed her departure to feeling “she had been stripped of responsibilities after talking to higher-ups about tensions arising” from Gupta’s complaint, in a case of professional retaliation by showrunners Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern.
In a statement Vulture, CBS Television Studios says “the matter was promptly investigated by human resources and appropriate action was taken to address the complaint,” and that Hunt successfully completed an anti-harassment/non-discrimination training* in the complaint’s aftermath. The network found no evidence of “retaliatory conduct” by the two showrunners. Hunt also “disputes that characterization” of Gupta’s claims, adding that he “did not remember the details as described.” Carol’s Second Act was recently bumped up to a full-season order on the network due to good ratings.
*This article has been updated to correct the training Hunt completed.