Peter Lenkov has been one of CBS' most prolific producers, with the long-running Hawaii Five-0 to his name, as well as current series MacGyver and Magnum P.I. Now, however, Lenkov has been fired by the network after multiple behind-the-scenes complaints.
CBS has fired MacGyver and Magnum P.I. showrunner Peter Lenkov in the wake of an investigation into multiple claims of a "toxic work environment," according to THR. There were reportedly at least three complaints of abusive and manipulative behavior throughout the ten seasons of Hawaii Five-0, which wrapped back in April, and the first four seasons of MacGyver.
Peter Lenkov is accused of favoring male employees who "inappropriately judged" the looks of women on set in Hawaii, which was where both Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I. were set. This reported "boys club" involved smoking cigars and regularly gathering. Further complaints also report Lenkov favoring special requests for schedules by male actors on Hawaii Five-0, while the actresses did not get the same treatment.
Additionally, Peter Lenkov faces accusations that he would "talk down" to writers, especially women and people of color, and was racist, sexist, and classist. He reportedly tried to have a female writer fired following an objection to his mockery of a disabled fan.
A CBS TV spokesperson addressed the firing of Peter Lenkov in a statement, saying:
Peter Lenkov is no longer the executive producer overseeing MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and the studio has ended its relationship with him. 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. 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.
Based on the CBS TV statement, the network seemingly found what it considered sufficient evidence following the complaints to warrant firing Peter Lenkov, whose shows anchored the CBS Friday night lineup. Fans of the shows can be reassured that those who are taking over for Lenkov were already executive producers on MacGyver and Magnum P.I., so the transition between showrunners may not be too noticeable for viewers. For his part, Lenkov has apologized.
The allegations against Peter Lenkov come just a few years after Hawaii Five-0 made headlines when stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park departed the series over salary disputes, as they sought but did not receive pay parity with stars Scott Caan and Alex O'Loughlin. The show ended in April with a surprise series finale that was not impacted by production halts.
That's not the case for MacGyver, which closed Season 4 with an "abrupt" ending. Both MacGyver and Magnum P.I. (which, like Hawaii Five-0, was not affected by a production shutdown) have been renewed for the 2020-2021 TV season, although only time will tell what the fall TV lineup will look like in a few months. For now, what has been confirmed in Peter Lenkov's firing from both MacGyver and Magnum P.I.