NCIS Stars Mark Harmon Has Feuded With Over The Years

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“NCIS,” the long-running CBS serial, has had its fair share of drama. From the untold truth of Pauley Perette’s departure from the police procedural to stars clashing heads with showrunners, “NCIS” fans have pretty much seen it all. While there are bound to be feuds with a show as extensive and popular as “NCIS,” which aired all the way back in 2003, Mark Harmon has been at the center of quite a few.

Harmon, who played the show’s central character, Jethro Gibbs, for 19 years, recently left the show after his character’s storyline concluded. Fans were sad to see him go, but some of his former coworkers — namely Pauley Perette, Michael Weatherly, and Donald P. Bellisario — remember his legacy a bit differently. Whether it be creative differences, incompatibility, or (in one extreme case) physical harm, Harmon’s coworkers have had quite a few bones to pick with him over the years.

Pauley Perette’s fear of Mark Harmon

If you love “NCIS,” there’s a big chance that’s because you love Abby Sciuto. Played by Pauley Perette, the now-iconic goth forensics scientist was a huge hit with fans — that is, until her sudden departure in 2018. After 15 long years on the show, Perette resigned, retiring from acting altogether just two years later.

Though Perette has chosen to keep the finer details of the situation under wraps, she has expressed a deep fear of Mark Harmon after his dog attacked a crew member in 2016. This sparked a heated feud on the “NCIS” set, where Perette argued that the dog was a safety hazard. Whether or not this issue was resolved remains unclear. After Perette left the show, CBS released a statement, saying, “Over a year ago, Pauley came to us with a workplace concern. We took the matter seriously and worked with her to find a resolution,” per USA Today.

According to Perette, however, the matter wasn’t taken seriously enough. In 2019, she staunchly defended her “NCIS” exit on Twitter, begging people to stop asking her about the traumatic experience. “I am terrified of Harmon and him attacking me. I have nightmares about it.” What she’s specifically referring to, only she and Harmon know. In another tweet, Perette admitted that she wasn’t telling the whole story. “Maybe I’m wrong for not ‘spilling the beans,’ telling the whole story … I feel I have to protect my crew, jobs, and so many people.”Harmon has remained tight-lipped on the matter.

Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon’s personal differences

Michael Weatherly played agent Tony DiNozzo for 10 years, from 2005 to 2015. Like Mark Harmon, he was part of the original “NCIS” cast — though that’s all they had in common. At least, that’s how it was at first.

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In a 2007 interview with The Futon Critic, Weatherly explained their differences: “Mark Harmon and I were on different poles. I was Antarctica, he was the North Pole and we was just looking down there going ‘What is up with your polarity? What’s going on? The water goes down the drain the other way for me.’ And he was confused by my presence right from the get-go.” Though they didn’t see eye to eye at first due to personality differences, they were eventually able to connect. Their feud was much more lighthearted than Harmon and Perette’s, based on a difference in temperament rather than anything serious.

Weatherly clearly has a lot of respect for Harmon and praised his acting talents in his interview. Even still, he’s acknowledged his costar’s penchant for grumpiness. “He’d, like, stomp on my head for even talking about his [acting] process.” While the imagery is a bit much, Weatherly didn’t seem physically threatened by him.

Donald P. Bellisario accused Mark Harmon of a smear campaign

Donald P. Bellisario was the original creator of NCIS, but his time as showrunner came abruptly to an end after just four years. His feud with the lead actor had people wondering if Mark Harmon really had an NCIS producer fired from the show, and the truth is … complicated.

While Harmon’s grouchy attitude on set is well-known by now, he may not have been in the wrong for this particular feud. After Bellisario’s removal as showrunner in 2007, inside sources were quick to talk. A source told TV Guide: “Mark’s been working every single day, 16 hours a day. Don tries to micro-manage everything. Script pages get faxed to the set at the last minute, and Mark is tired of dealing with the huge impact that makes on his life.”

Still, let’s not assign blame too fast. Things looked a lot different from Bellisario’s perspective, who accused Harmon and his people of leaking anonymous tips (like the one shared in TV Guide) to turn the press against him. In 2008, he told the LA Times, “I asked Mark to re-shoot a scene. He redid it exactly the same way he did it the first time and never spoke to me again.” Regardless, Harmon seems a lot happier now that Bellisario is gone. He also spoke with the LA Times and said that the NCIS set is much more efficient than it used to be under their old showrunner’s guidance.

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