Welp, NCIS fans — while it was fun to imagine for a minute that Pauley Perrette was leaving the crime procedural for benign reasons, new developments suggest otherwise. In response to Perrette’s recent vague tweets alleging “multiple physical assaults” on set, CBS has responded. And their feedback? Well, it feels a bit dismissive.
On Tuesday, the network issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter addressing Perrette’s recent tweetstorm, saying, “Pauley Perrette had a terrific run on NCIS and we are all going to miss her. Over a year ago, Pauley came to us with a workplace concern. We took the matter seriously and worked with her to find a resolution. We are committed to a safe work environment on all our shows.”
Perrette, who played beloved fan favorite Abby Sciuto for 15 seasons, suggested in the tweets that she left NCIS not due to a workplace concern but rather a pattern of abuse. Although she claimed a “very rich, very powerful publicity ‘machine'” was keeping her silent, Perrette’s follow-up to CBS Wednesday makes it seem as though she wasn’t alluding to the network.
I want to thank my studio and network CBS They have always been so good to me and always had my back.
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 16, 2018
“I want to thank my studio and network CBS They have always been so good to me and always had my back,” she wrote on Monday night, sounding very different in tone from earlier tweets, including the following tweet:
Maybe I'm wrong for not "spilling the beans" Telling the story, THE TRUTH. I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs and so many people. But at what cost? I.don't know. Just know, I'm trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn't the right thing about crime. I'm… Just… ?
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) May 13, 2018
However, with so few details concerning Perrette’s initial allegations, nothing can be ruled out yet. Is it possible the actor’s response proves the rich and powerful machine she spoke of is coercing her into remaining quiet? Fans seem to think it’s a possibility, asking the star on Twitter for more “transparency” and to “stand up for herself” publicly.
Of course, it’s important to remember that Perrette is a victim, and it can take time for victims to truly feel safe enough to come forward. Even in the midst of the #MeToo movement, women continue to be persecuted for bringing allegations to light. It’s an unimaginable battle to have to face on top of the actual assault or abuse itself.
Perrette’s journey of disclosure only just began in October 2017, when she tweeted her own #MeToo story. Revealing that she’d lost her virginity at the age of 15 when she was raped by a football player, Perrette opened up about how that assault had a ripple effect on the rest of her life.
I never met THAT Harvey Weinstein But I sure do know him. In different shapes, sizes and names… pic.twitter.com/nXqkxUOLSz
— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) October 13, 2017
“My rape led me into a series of abusive relationships, terrible self-worth and self-blame, dismissing a few groping incidents, allowing myself to be bullied by a powerful man for way too long in a work environment until I finally said ENOUGH,” she wrote, adding that it is imperative to dismantle “the illusion of power that makes abusers think they are untouchable.”
If there is a silver lining to be found in this sad situation, perhaps it is action. Now that the friction between Perrette and CBS has become public fodder, hopefully, the network will address more thoroughly what steps they intend to take to protect people from such abuse in the future.