The production company behind Seven’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries has been forced to temporarily cease working on the show due to a police investigation involving its star.
Craig McLachlan, who plays the lead character in The Doctor Blake Mysteries – which has been picked up by Seven for 2018 from the ABC – is facing a series of sexual harassment and assault allegations from his performance in the Rocky Horror Show musical in 2014.
Seven issued a statement to B&T yesterday saying it was aware of the allegations concerning McLachlan, and is taking them seriously.
“However, as this is a police matter, it is not appropriate to comment,” the statement said.
“Concerning the upcoming series of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, this is produced by December Media and is in early pre-production funded by Seven and other parties. Seven has sought an urgent update from the producers.”
The show’s production company, December Media, then issued this statement:
“December Media is confident that throughout the production of The Doctor Blake Mysteries there have been no incidents involving any member of cast or crew acting in any way inappropriately towards other cast and crew.
“Throughout the six years of production of Doctor Blake, it has not only been an enormously popular show on air, but popular with cast and crew who come back to work on the series year after year.
“Craig has been central to this success both in front of camera and on set. It is not appropriate for December to respond to the allegations about Craig McLachlan’s behaviour in relation to another production he has appeared in.
“However, in the light of these allegations, December Media will temporarily hold production preparations for the new series to allow due process.
“December Media is committed to a safe and secure working environment. We do not tolerate any form of behaviour, which makes anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable for whatever reason in the workplace.
“December has policies and procedures in place to ensure all staff feel confident about reporting any issue or incident to management, and can be assured that management will act swiftly.
“Given these allegations are subject to a police investigation, December Media will not be making any further comment.”
Meanwhile, the Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO), which produced the 2014 season of the Rocky Horror Show and is responsible for this year’s shows, said it was “shocked” by the allegations against McLachlan, and has mutually agreed with the actor to end his role in the musical.
The move by the GFO coincides with a report by ABC News that two more crew members of the Rocky Horror Show have gone to the police about McLachlan’s alleged misconduct, which the actor has denied.