A familiar situation. The lawyer of Grinder costumer Youngjoo Hwang says Fred Savage‘s firing from The Wonder Years reboot has been “a long time coming,” after years of alleged misconduct.
“I am not the least bit surprised,” Hwang’s attorney, Anahita Seda, told Page Six on Monday, May 9. Seda represented Hwang in her 2018 lawsuit against the Princess Bride star, 45, in which she alleged that he physically assaulted her on the set of the Fox sitcom. The case settled in April 2019.
“When my client came to me in 2018 with her allegations against Mr. Savage, we discovered that there was at least one lawsuit that had been filed against him in the past and that Mr. Savage had allegedly engaged in this type of behavior not just towards my client but other women as well,” Seda continued. “It is unfortunate that it took my client speaking out and now reportedly these others before action was finally taken.”
On Friday, May 6, Savage was fired from his position as executive producer and director on The Wonder Years reboot following allegations that involved verbal outbursts and inappropriate behavior. “Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched,” a spokesperson for 20th Television said in a statement to Deadline at the time. “Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of The Wonder Years.”
While the American Dad! star has not yet publicly commented on the recent accusations, he has previously been accused of misconduct. In a 1993 lawsuit, Monique Long, who worked as a costumer on the original Wonder Years — which starred Savage as Kevin Arnold — alleged that she had been verbally and physically harassed by the actor and costar Jason Hervey. The duo denied the claims at the time and the lawsuit was dropped after an undisclosed settlement was reached.
“When we shot the series finale … nobody knew whether or not The Wonder Years was going to be renewed,” Alley Mills, who played Kevin’s mother, told Yahoo in 2018 when asked if the allegations played a role in The Wonder Years‘ cancellation. “And that’s because of a completely ridiculous sexual harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage — who is, like, the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the Earth. … So I just thought [the lawsuit] was a big joke and it was going to blow over.”
That same year, Hwang filed her lawsuit against Savage, claiming that he had “violently struck” her in the arm three times after she allegedly brushed dandruff off of his suit.
In her filing, she also argued that the director had a reputation for creating a hostile work environment for the female crew members on set. At the time of the alleged incident, Fox claimed that a “thorough investigation” had been conducted and the network “found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage,” a representative for Twentieth Century Fox said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time.
Savage also vehemently denied the claims against him. “I was made aware that a woman working in the costume department of a show I was on almost three years ago has claimed that I treated her harshly on set simply because she was a woman,” the Modern Family actor said in a 2018 statement to Us. “These accusations are completely without merit and absolutely untrue. Fox conducted an extensive internal investigation into her claims, a process in which I fully participated. After concluding a thorough investigation, Fox determined that there was absolutely no evidence to support these accusations. None of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen.”