Chicago P.D. lead Jason Beghe was investigated by NBC and Wolf Entertainment in 2016 for “inappropriate behavior” when the actor faced complaints from several members of the cast and crew that some said constituted sexual harassment.
“When it was brought to our attention that there were concerns about inappropriate behavior on set, we promptly began an investigation in partnership with Human Resources and all parties involved,” said the network, Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment in a statement today to Deadline. “As a result of the investigation, we have already taken action, and it is a situation we continue to monitor very closely to ensure all of our employees feel safe and supported.”
Beghe, who plays Sgt. Hank Voight on the series, was the focus of numerous accusations from cast and crew members on the NBC show. He has apparently consistently used highly aggressive and sexually suggestive language as well as intimidating postures and more, we have learned.
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which I know has been hurtful to my friends and colleagues,” Beghe said in his own statement today. “I have struggled with anger issues for some time, and over the past year, I have been working with a coach to help me learn how to mitigate my temper. It’s an ongoing process, and it has been a humbling one.”
“It is a source of great pride for me to be part of Chicago P.D.’s incredible cast and crew,” Beghe added. “I have personally apologized to anyone who I have upset, and I am committed to doing what is necessary to make up any damage that I may have caused.”
Last year, NBCU was made aware via cast and crew of a number of issues on the set of P.D. involving Beghe, according to sources. With senior executives actively involved, the Human Resources division opened an investigation into the complaints and outside counsel was brought in. These complaints and the investigation were focused on anger issues — yelling and screaming by Beghe that members of the production found deeply offensive. As part of the conclusion of that investigation last fall, as Beghe alluded to in his statement, the network provided the actor with a couch to address anger issues; that coach continues to work with Beghe. A note of reprimand was placed in the actor’s personnel fie also as a result and there were other consequences we hear.
In recent months, star Sophia Bush left the show and at least one other actress and a crew member have seemingly been written out of P.D. or reassigned to another Wolf production. With the testosterone-heavy Chicago P.D. set having been described as a tough environment for a female performer, Bush’s exit, exclusively reported by Deadline in May, was rumored be in reaction specifically to Beghe’s conduct. We hear that the other two departures were also related to inappropriate behavior by the actor.
Representatives for Bush and the other two women did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment on the matter.
Insiders say Beghe’s explosive temperament has long been an issue over P.D.’s nearly four-year run and that the investigation opened last year was long overdue. One source told of incidents of stunts and other altercations with Beghe that got far too physical and left actors injured.
Today’s move by the network and the production company comes a month after P.D. co-star Bush explained that she suddenly left the Wolf- and Matt Olmstead-created show earlier this year “because I wanted to.” The ex-One Tree Hill actress was one of those who offered support earlier this month to writer Audrey Wauchope’s sexual harassment allegations against OTH creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn.
Schwahn was suspended from his showrunner position on E!’s The Royals on November 15 by show producer Lionsgate following the claims. The next day, 25 crew members and actresses on The Royals penned a letter accusing Schwahn of “repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew” on the Universal Cable Productions series.
Filmed in Chicago and hence a bit removed from corporate oversight, Chicago P.D. debuted in January 2014 as the second show in Wolf’ Films’ now four-series Windy City franchise.
An original cast member, Beghe is represented by APA, which also reps P.D. co-stars LaRoyce Hawkins and Jon Seda.