Mailbag: More Questions on Cote

Cote-de-Pablo-NCISThe “NCIS” diehards who can’t abide by Cote de Pablo leaving the show are not satisfied with network explanations of the departure.

Asked about what happened, Viacom chair Les Moonves said CBS ”offered Cote de Pablo a lot of money, and then we offered her even more money because we really didn’t want to lose her. We love her. We think she was she was terrific.

“We obviously were in discussions,” Moonves said. “And the rest of the cast and the producers were aware what’s going on. And ultimately she decided she didn’t want to do the show. It was purely her decision.”

But Corrine White of Portland, Ore., still had a lot of questions. To wit:

  • Is there not an evident disparaging track with CBS and minorities & their contracts? Adam Rodriguez, Jorja Fox, Paget Brewster, AJ Cook, & Cote de Pablo. Perhaps there are more.
She went on: 
  • Why would Cote negotiate if she was planning on “just not doing the show?”
  • Do you really believe she just up & “changed her mind” 4 days before production when everyone at NCIS expected her back & Gary had written scripts with this intention?
  • Don’t you wonder why CBS has not yet commented on the length of contract when TV Guide has reported on it, & fans have clearly called attention to it?
  • Do you wonder how much money exactly is “a truck load?” “We offered her more, and then more?” Does CBS state they met Cote’s desired salary? 
  • If you have interviewed Cote, do you get the impression from her from her love of her character, her co-workers, her on-screen relationship, & her love of NCIS, in the past year; that she gave her cast mates & show runner the impression she was returning for season 11; that she would enter negotiations to renew her contract; that she planned on leaving? Don’t you wonder why negotiations broke down 4 days prior to production?
  • Don’t you find it curious that Cote has yet to make a statement as to why she “wanted” to leave? All she says was that it was a very difficult decision, & that she has great respect & affection for everyone. After being aware of this campaign to bring her back? Don’t you think she would make said statement of it being “purely her decision” knowing fans are petitioning for her return?
  • Lastly, do you feel that it’s particularly peculiar for Cote to discuss hopes & & expectations for season 11 in a BTS Laina video, shot on June 19th, just 3 weeks prior to this announcement? Also, isn’t it quite possible & feasible that, given this interview was conducted on June 19th, and the publishing of it took place AFTER July 10th, Cote’s statement about leaving after 8 years was obtained AFTER the July 10th official announcement, and added in? How else to do you explain the differing impressions between the video and the interview? Do you really feel that Cote would comment on something at all, & provide specific ideas on season 11, if she knew she wasn’t returning? 
“Still feel that fans have concocted these conspiracy theories?” White concludes. “Or does your Gibbs gut tell you that something ‘hinky’ went down?”
Moonves said the protest about the departure has been noticed. “We’re obviously getting a lot of emails. There’s a lot of Twitter buzz about her, and rightly so. She’s a wonderful lady.”
He added, “‘NCIS’ was the highest rated show on television last year. We don’t like losing anybody. But we did everything humanly possible. We feel like we exhausted every opportunity, and she just decided she didn’t want to do the show.” 
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