“When we shot the series finale … nobody knew whether or not The Wonder Years was going to be renewed,” Alley Mills, 66, said while talking with Yahoo on Jan. 26. The actress — who played Norma Arnold, the on screen mother to Fred Savage’s Kevin — said that the series came to an end after a “ridiculous sexual harassment” was filed against Fred, 41, and his co-star Jason Hervey, 45. ” …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.”
In 1993, a 31-year-old costume designer named Monique Long filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fred (then 16) and Jason (then just 20). Monique alleged that the stars verbally and physically harassed her. Because of that, she claimed she couldn’t do her job properly and that’s why she was fired. The lawsuit was ultimately dropped after an undisclosed out-of-court settlement was reached. “I was completely exonerated. I really don’t want to talk about it. It was a terrible experience,” Fred Savage told SF Gate in 1996 after the lawsuit was dropped, per Us Weekly.
Alley claims the show’s network, ABC, was behind the lawsuit getting dropped. “I just thought this was a joke. You know, they bought her off, which really made me mad. That was incorrigible that the network did that; they should never have paid her off,” Alley said. “[The network] wanted to avoid a scandal or something, but it made them look guilty. You know, you don’t pay someone off when there was no crime, you just fire the girl.”
Representatives for the show and for the actors vehemently denied the allegations years ago, according to Yahoo. Alley claims she “wasn’t allowed to talk” about the lawsuit as it was going on, “which made me so upset. We had a gag order on us, and I wanted to scream on television, ‘This is ridiculous!’”
Alley’s allegation that ABC decided against giving The Wonder Years a seventh season, especially in the midst of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement, is interesting, considering the show went off the air more than 30 years ago. She sees comparisons between back then and the current landscape in Hollywood. “It’s a little bit like what’s happening now — some innocent people can get caught up in this stuff; it’s very tricky. It was so not true,” she said. “It was my dresser, and I don’t care if she’s listening — I probably shouldn’t be telling this, but I don’t care because it was so long ago and it’s gotta be over now.”
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