It was the question this morning – whether to say anything or not. And if so, which article to run here or not.
We actually already had a post ready for today, that might have been a good fit for this news – but we will let is stand over for tomorrow and you can be the judge.
We are not in a habit of running stories that are not about Alex. But this news involves Alex and his work for the last 10 years. Regular readers would have gotten the drift of how we felt about it all, over the years – or maybe not.
In any case, there are a lot we as the audience (fans) don’t know and most of us form a perspective with the limited information we got over the years, from the corner in the fandom we sat it.
These are the two of articles that cover the story:
‘MacGyver,’ ‘Magnum P.I.’ Boss Peter Lenkov Fired at CBS
7 July 2020
Following an investigation into multiple claims that top showrunner Peter Lenkov created a toxic work environment, CBS has fired the Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver and Magnum P.I. showrunner, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Lenkov was dismissed despite having a year left on his rich overall deal with CBS TV Studios, which produces MacGyver and Magnum P.I.“Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him,” a CBS TV Studios spokesperson said in a statement to THR. “Monica Macer will be the showrunner on MacGyver and Eric Guggenheim will run Magnum P.I. Both are currently executive producers on their respective series. Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. We will continue to evolve our practices with continued focus on building trust with all who work on our sets. Every complaint is taken seriously, every claim is investigated, and when evidence is clear that policies were violated and values not upheld, we take decisive action.”Added Lenkov in a statement of his own to THR: “Now is the time to listen and I am listening. It’s difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”
Sources say Lenkov had been the subject of at least three complaints alleging that he was manipulative and abusive during Hawaii Five-0‘s 10-season run and on the current hit MacGyver (with the latter heading into its fifth season in the fall). He allegedly had a “boys club” that included favored male employees who regularly gathered, smoked cigars and inappropriately judged the appearance of women in Hawaii. Others allege that he accommodated special work-schedule requests from male actors without offering similar consideration to actresses on Hawaii Five-0. The series, a reboot of the iconic procedural, concluded its run in April.
“It was a hard place to be a woman on that set,” one source said of the former Oahu set of Hawaii Five-0.
Behind the scenes, sources allege Lenkov would routinely talk down to writers — particularly women and people of color. In one incident, he allegedly mocked a disabled fan and, after a writer objected to his behavior, attempted to have her fired.
“He isn’t racist or sexist or classist singularly — it’s all of it,” says an insider. “He’s anti-woman, anti-POC, anti-gay, and everything you’d expect. But he’d also torture straight white men if he felt like it.”
Lenkov is one of CBS’ top showrunners, having successfully rebooted Hawaii Five-0 into a global syndicated hit as well as reviving procedurals Magnum P.I. and MacGyver. The latter two series are set to air back-to-back on Fridays in the fall; Lenkov is one of a small handful of showrunners to control a night of programming.
Hawaii Five-0 made headlines in July 2017 when original series stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park made the shocking decision to depart the CBS drama after filming its first 168 episodes. Both actors, who had appeared in all seven seasons as series regulars, asked for salary parity with co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. CBS and CBS Television Studios could not come to terms that worked for the two stars. Sources at the time noted that the duo’s offers came in at less than those of O’Loughlin and Caan, who both had a rich cut of the show’s lucrative backend.
Lenkov is the latest CBS showrunner to be dismissed as the media titan continues to address its own culture issues. Brad Kern, the former showrunner of NCIS: New Orleans, was dropped by CBS TV Studios after multiple sources on the show alleged he harassed and unfairly penalized women and made racially insensitive statements. CBS comedy Fam let showrunner Bob Kushell go after finding that he used “inappropriate language” on the set of the 2019 midseason show. CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery dismissed showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts amid allegations of abusive behavior, along with budget overruns. Vinnie Favale, a CBS Studios executive, was placed on leave in 2018 after allegations of misconduct.
CBS also fired 60 Minutes exec producer and former news division head Jeff Fager after he sent a threatening text message to a CBS reporter who was covering sexual misconduct allegations against him. In 2017, the network dropped CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose amid allegations of sexual harassment. CBS also was rocked by the September 2018 departure of CEO Leslie Moonves, which took place a month after The New Yorker published allegations of harassment and abuse by the top executive.
‘Magnum P.I.,’ ‘MacGyver’ Showrunner Peter Lenkov Fired Over Toxic Work Environment Claims
Peter Lenkov’s relationship with CBS has been terminated due to accusations the producer and showrunner created a toxic work environment on his sets, Variety has confirmed.
Lenkov developed and was the showrunner on the CBS revivals of “Magnum P.I.” and “MacGyver,” but has now been fired from those shows. In addition, his overall deal with CBS Television Studios has been ended. Lenkov was previously the showrunner on the CBS revival of “Hawaii Five-O,” which ended earlier this year.
“Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him,” a CBS TV Studios spokesperson said. “Monica Macer will be the showrunner on MacGyver and Eric Guggenheim will run Magnum P.I. Both are currently executive producers on their respective series. Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. We will continue to evolve our practices with continued focus on building trust with all who work on our sets. Every complaint is taken seriously, every claim is investigated, and when evidence is clear that policies were violated and values not upheld, we take decisive action.”
The investigation into Lenkov’s behavior is said to have just concluded recently. Multiple sources who spoke with Variety said that Lenkov was known to be misogynistic and to make crude jokes on set. He is also said to have a “boys club” with whom he would regularly gather to smoke cigars and judge women’s appearances. Sources also allege his abusive behavior pre-dated his work on the CBS revivals and was also prevalent during his time on “CSI: NY.” In one incident described to Variety, Lenkov had gathered several writers in his office and circulated a New York Magazine story from 2007 about women being a “depreciating asset” and expected the women present to laugh. During his time at “CSI: NY,” when Lenkov once got a note he didn’t like from a CBS executive, he joked that the writer who was dating the executive wasn’t doing her job in bed because the executive was cranky, according to one source.
“Women were definitely second-class citizens, as far as he was concerned,” says one insider. “I drank myself to sleep for a month because of him.”
Lenkov responded to his termination in a statement, which reads: “Now is the time to listen and I am listening. It’s difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”
Lenkov is now the latest producer or executive at CBS to be terminated in recent years due to allegations of misconduct. Perhaps most famously, longtime CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves exited the company amid multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment in 2018. Other examples include “NCIS: New Orleans” producer Brad Kern, who was fired from that show due to allegations of racist comments and verbal harassment of women. Longtime “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager was also terminated, with CBS saying Fager had “violated company policy.” Fager was accused of ignoring allegations of harassment and abuse during his time at CBS News.
We all had our points of view even before the news broke. I would warn those who are tempted to comment – don’t be too hasty in judgment. Those in glass houses should not throw stones.
Some even suggest the show would’ve had a different ending if it all came to light sooner. My question is – would the show even have run until now, if this happened sooner? Who were victims and who not?
What is in the bag is in the bag – no do-overs …
It is so interesting to see how everybody is spinning the story to suit their own narrative. Most “heroes” have feet of clay at some stage. It all lies in the perspective of those involved.
For many, the show (Hawaii Five-0) provided an income for a decade. Many got opportunities because of it. It seems, others were victims. Some maybe both victim and benefactor. Isn’t it all part of life in general, you could ask?
In the end, I think it can be a lesson for us all, to do better ….. or not.