Back in May, Fred Savage was fired from the reboot of The Wonder Years, the show that made his name. He wasn’t acting on it; he was an executive producer, as well as one of its directors. At the time, details were not made public; all that was revealed was he had engaged in “inappropriate conduct.” Now a report by The Hollywood Reporter has filled in some of the gaps, and the allegations aren’t pretty.
According to the report, six women on the crew united to report Savage’s alleged misconduct, which led to an investigation and his eventual ouster. There were claims of verbal outbursts at female employees and that he would flip like a “switch” between two personalities: charismatic/supportive and darker/angrier. (“His eyes would go dead,” one of his accusers told THR.)
Then there was behavior around a “much younger” crew member. At first it was “very platonic,” although he soon started taking her to dinner, buying her expensive gifts (which she declined), encouraging her comedy career, even meeting her parents. After she was abruptly fired, things allegedly took a turn. Savage invited her to a bar where the crew was gathering. At one point, she went to the bathroom, and Savage followed her inside, pushed her against a wall, began kissing her, and put her hand on his groin.
“I said, ‘Please, don’t do this.’ I meant ruining the friendship,” she told THR. “I was pleading, not from fear so much, but this was no going back.” Eventually she “angrily” stopped. “I shoulder-checked him so I could get out.”
Savage continued texting her, but she stopped responding. A few weeks went by and Savage sent her a voicemail, which she shared with THR. “It’s your old friend Fred,” he said. “We worked together for a while, and then we didn’t, and then I was a huge asshole. A huge asshole. And I’m really sorry. And I’ve kind of owed you an apology for a minute here and so, uh, the truth is I really like you and I really want to be friends, and I’m so sorry that I f*cked that up.” She did not respond.
Savage released a statement to THR, in which he denied some claims while acknowledging that he has to do better:
“Since I was 6 years old, I have worked on hundreds of sets with thousands of people, and have always strived to contribute to an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment. It is devastating to learn that there are co-workers who feel I have fallen short of these goals. While there are some incidents being reported that absolutely did not and could not have happened, any one person who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one person too many. I will work to address and change any behavior that has negatively affected anyone, as nothing in this world is more important to me than being a supportive co-worker, friend, husband, father and person.”
You can read the full report at THR.