A number of high-profile people in power have been toppled over the past year after allegations of abuse and misconduct, and now one more has lost his job. Former NCIS: New Orleans boss Brad Kern has officially been fired from the hit drama as well as CBS altogether. His firing ends the process of investigation first reported way back in 2017, and here’s how it finally happened.
Following a third investigation into Brad Kern’s behavior on set at NCIS: New Orleans, CBS Television Studios made the decision to fire him from his role as a consulting producer on the show and from his overall deal with CBS TV. Brad Kern’s firing actually went into effect on October 1, although news did not break the next day. The news comes four months after CBS shocked many by renewing Kern’s contract even as another investigation into his behavior on set was being conducted.
At the time, he had been demoted from his role as showrunner to “consulting producer,” and the investigation was to be handled by an outside investigator rather an somebody in-house in human resources at CBS. Sources then alleged that a “toxic” atmosphere at NCIS: NOLA had continued due to Brad Kern despite his demotion, and the outside investigation clearly provided the kind of results that were serious enough for CBS to make the move to fire Kern.
A key difference between the in-house investigation and the outside investigation is that the outside investigation was not limited to the complaints originally filed to CBS HR. Claims of harassment and abuse from his previous projects could be taken into account. Complaints against him from the likes of Beauty and the Beast, Charmed, and more were valid this time around.
News of Brad Kern’s firing comes only about a month after it was officially announced that CBS CEO Les Moonves was leaving the network after allegations of misconduct were levelled at him. THR states that multiple people who had previously worked at NCIS: New Orleans shared their opinion that Les Moonves’ ousting is what opened the door for Brad Kern to be fired from the network. If so, Moonves’ departure continues to impact the CBS slate. 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, also accused of harassment, left CBS shortly after Moonves, and Moonves’ wife Julie Chen decided to leave her long-running gig as co-host of The Talk to focus on her husband and child. (Notably, she does still work at CBS as host of Big Brother.)
We’ll have to wait and see if there are any notable changes behind the scenes at NCIS: NOLA in the wake of Brad Kern’s departure. He was already working on the show in a reduced capacity, although he was reportedly present in the writers room ever since it opened for work on Season 5, and then previous plan was for him to work with editors when production began. His role as “consulting producer” seemed substantial, if not quite as expansive as showrunner.