NCIS: New Orleans executive producer Brad Kern, who was twice investigated by CBS' HR department for sexual harassment and discrimination against women — especially working mothers — and making racially charged comments, will not be returning as showrunner for Season 5, Salon reports, though he will reportedly still be involved in some capacity. Executive producer Chris Silber will be taking over as showrunner.
Kern took over the Scott Bakula-led NCISspin-off during its second season in 2016, and within a year had been investigated by HR on two separate occasions. A Variety report published in December of last year described Kern as a "gender bully" who reportedly once said a new mother who worked on the show should pump her breastmilk in front of her colleagues because "'cows in the field' are sometimes milked out in the open." Kern fired this employee less than two months after the investigation into the claim she filed against him was closed.
Despite the claims against him, Kern continued working on the show. At the time, CBS provided a statement to Variety that said the studio investigated the claims and took disciplinary action against Kern commiserate with the claims HR could verify and had had no further complaints about his behavior.
But now, Salon reports, Kern's contract with NCIS: NOLA is up and has not been renewed. An unnamed CBS source says that Kern will still be involved in some capacity, though it's unclear what.
NCIS: New Orleans Season 5 will air Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS this fall.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)