‘Magnum P.I.’, ‘MacGyver’ showrunner Peter Lenkov fired over claims of toxic work environment

Peter Lenkov and Tristin Mays attend the CBS 2016 Summer TCA Panel at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Aug. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Jerod Harris/WireImage

CBS has fired Peter Lenkov following an investigation into multiple claims that the MacGyver showrunner created a toxic work environment.

“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 the Hollywood Reporter.

“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,” the statement continued. “Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options.

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“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 statement concluded.

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Lenkov, who is Canadian, released a statement to the outlet as well, saying: “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 has been accused of creating a toxic, misogynistic environment by making crude jokes on set and behaving more favourably towards the men with whom he worked.

Variety reports that sources said Lenkov had a “‘boys club’ with whom he would regularly gather to smoke cigars and judge women’s appearances.”

The sources also told the outlet that Lenkov’s behaviour predated his work on the CBS shows and was also prevalent during his time on CSI: NY.

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In one incident, Lenkov allegedly gathered writers in his office, circulated a New York Magazine story from 2007 about women being a “depreciating asset” and expected the women in the room to laugh.

Variety also reports that during Lenkov’s time at CSI: NY, he received a note he didn’t like from a CBS executive and joked that the writer who was dating the executive “wasn’t doing her job in bed because the executive was cranky.”

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“Women were definitely second-class citizens, as far as he was concerned,” one insider told the outlet. “I drank myself to sleep for a month because of him.”

Sources told the Hollywood Reporter that Lenkov had been the subject of at least three complaints alleging he was manipulative and abusive during Hawaii Five-0′s 10-season run.

One source alleged that behind the scenes, Lenkov would talk down to writers, particularly women and people of colour.

In one incident, the source said Lenkov allegedly “mocked a disabled fan and, after a writer objected to his behaviour, attempted to have her fired.”

“He isn’t racist or sexist or classist singularly — it’s all of it,” an insider told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Global News has reached out to CBS for comment.


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