Two weeks after CBS terminated its relationship with MacGyver, Magnum P.I. and former Hawaii Five-0 boss Peter M. Lenkov for creating a toxic work environment, titular MacGyver star Lucas Till is speaking out about the EP’s “unacceptable” behavior.
The actor told Vanity Fair that he endured numerous instances of verbal abuse, bullying, and body-shaming while working alongside Lenkov. “I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and I am fine with hard work,” Till told the mag. “But the way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. I was suicidal that first year on the show, because of the way he made me feel. But the way he’s treated the people around me — that’s just my breaking point.”
Regarding the body shaming, Till — in a note sent this past May to CBS’ Human Resources department — wrote, “There was always something about my appearance that wouldn’t please him, like when I was in a hospital gown…. [Lenkov] said my legs were ‘f–king hideous’ and we can never show them again. Honestly, I found some humor in that comment as well, but you can imagine if that was a more sensitive spot that he had hit, and often did. Just like the time he screamed at [a director] ’Oh, my f–king God! Tuck his shirt in, he looks like a little f–king boy’… I’ve struggled with maintaining ‘man weight’ on the show because of the stress, no time to work out, and an unpredictable schedule for proper nourishment.”
A rep for Lenkov, via Vanity fair, called Till’s accusations “100 percent false and untrue,” adding that the EP “has championed him from the very beginning and has been nothing but supportive of him.”
CBS TV Studios announced on July 7 that it had formally cut ties with Lenkov. “Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him,” a rep said in a statement at the time. “Our studio is committed to ensuring safe and respectful production environments. Over the past year, we have assigned human resource production partners to every show, expanded staff training and increased reporting options. 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.”
In response to his CBS firing, Lenkov said in a statement, “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.”
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)