Even as CBS Television Studios has inked a new two-year deal with NCIS: New Orleans consulting producer Brad Kern, the studio has hired outside counsel to review a previous internal investigation into allegations against Kern of harassment and a hostile work environment, Deadline has confirmed.
“The 2016 allegations concerning Mr. Kern were acted upon immediately with a thorough investigation and subsequent disciplinary action to address behavior and management issues,” said CBS Television Studios in a statement. “We have received no further complaints since this action was implemented. In addition, Mr. Kern agreed to step down from his leadership position as showrunner this season and transition to a consulting producer role. We now believe this matter merits further inquiry and therefore we have engaged outside counsel to review both the original investigation as well as the current situation.”
Kern’s continued involvement with the show was expected: As Deadline reported last month, Kern exited his role as executive producer/showrunner of NCIS: New Orleans to serve as consultant on the series. NCIS: New Orleans executive producer Chris Silber was named new showrunner.
Kern’s move came months after word surfaced in December that he had been the subject of two Human Resources investigations by CBS TV Studios while working on the studio’s popular CBS crime procedural. The investigations were triggered by complaints from co-workers about a hostile work environment on the show.
Following the second investigation, Kern was reportedly assigned to and underwent six months of sensitivity training/counseling, which he completed in February 2017.
NCIS: New Orleans is returning for Season 5 in the fall.
News of a new, outside investigation into Kern was first reported today by The Hollywood Reporter.