According to a report from the New York Times, one female writer accused Hunt of unwanted touching. Per the report, she quit the show after claiming the network mishandled her complaint.
Broti Gupta, a writer for the series, claimed she went to human resources to complain about Hunt touching her on two separate occasions. She also said she was made to feel uncomfortable after Hunt hugged her outside a work dinner in August, complimented her pants and ran his hand up her thigh.
She also said she was sitting next to co-executive producer Margee Magee several weeks later when Hunt allegedly jerked Gupta by the shoulders after apparently looking for something. Gupta later told Magee of the initial alleged encounter with Hunt and said she was encouraged by Magee to speak out.
Gupta and Magee said they went to the showrunners who reported the complaints to human resources who then launched an investigation.
David Hunt, left, and Patricia Heaton, right, at the 2016 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Leon Bennett/WireImage, File)
“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,” Gupta said.
She told the Times that after complaining about Hunt, she and Magee were stopped from attending some of the show’s rehearsals.
“That gave me no option but to leave the show,” said Gupta.
Magee said she was removed from nearly all of her writing responsibilities after going to HR to discuss Gupta’s exit.
Ito Aghayere, Patricia Heaton and Kyle MacLachlan of “Carol’s Second Act” at the 2019 Summer TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images, File)
CBS told Fox News on Sunday, “The matter was promptly investigated by human resources, and appropriate action was taken to address the complaint. The executive producer cooperated fully with the process.”
The network also said it “looked into allegations of retaliatory conduct by the showrunners at the time they were raised, and we found no evidence of retaliatory intent in their interactions with the writer or the producer.”
The statement continued: “The writer and producer decided to leave the show of their own accord. CBS agreed to their request to be paid for the remainder of their guaranteed episodes this season, and we supported their request to waive any contractual provisions that would prevent them from speaking about their experiences on the show.”
A rep for Heaton did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
A lawyer for Hunt told The New York Times his client “did not remember the details as described” and “does not recall rubbing anyone’s thigh or leg and he disputes that characterization of it.” The lawyer said Hunt “remembers looking for a script but does not remember the detail of touching anyone’s shoulders, and if he did that, it was not intended to be offensive.”
Heaton and Hunt have been married since 1990 and share four children.