Fred Savage has once again come under fire. A former crew member of ‘The Grinder’ is suing Fred, claiming he humiliated and ‘violently’ hit her!
Fred Savage, 41, has been thrust back into the center of another workplace scandal. The former Wonder Years star has been accused of attacking and harassing a female crew member on the set of his ex-TV show, The Grinder, according to TMZ. Back in 2015, Fred allegedly “created a hostile work environment” for the crew member, who worked in wardrobe, which reportedly included him verbally dressing her down in front of people. If this alleged public humiliation wasn’t enough, this woman claims Fred struck her.
During an alleged incident when she was brushing dandruff off his clothing (as he was wearing it, per TMZ) Fred “got pissed” and allegedly “violently struck” the woman three times in the arm. The female crew member claims that Fred had a reputation for losing his cool, and this would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. This currently unnamed woman is suing Fred and Twentieth Century FOX for harassment, assault, battery and discrimination. HollywoodLife.com has reached out to Fred’s rep for comment on this report.
Update: FOX reportedly investigated the claim and interviewed “every possible witness,” a source connected to Fred told TMZ. The source claims that FOX “couldn’t find a single witness to verify the woman’s claim,” and calls the allegation, “Absolutely 100% false.”
Update 2: Fred has issued a statement:
“I have witnessed tremendous courage over these past few months, watching brave women who have come forward publicly fighting through the shame and stigma of harassment. I’ve seen first-hand the growing support in this movement that has always felt so lacking. As someone who has always tried to live honorably and with integrity, it never dawned on me that my name could be on the other side.
“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. 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.
“I have been working in the entertainment industry my whole life and have always endeavored to treat everyone on any set I work on respectfully and professionally. While none of the accusations being leveled at me are true, I wholeheartedly support all people who feel they are being mistreated come forward and speak to human resources and those in charge. We have witnessed so much bravery from those speaking out recently, but I will just as boldly protect myself and my family from those seeking to tarnish my good name. I cannot let these people in particular denigrate me while harming the message of thousands of women and others who have suffered and continue to suffer.”
UPDATE 3: Fred’s accuser has identified herself as YJ Hwang, and spoke out at a press conference on March 21, confirming most of what TMZ earlier reported. “From the outset of the show, Mr. Savage was aggressive with me,” She said. “He would routinely curse at me, yell at me, demean me, when all I was trying to do was my job. It became more and more stressful for me to go to work because I was scared of the abuse and what I would have to encounter on set. During taping of an episode, I was attempting to brush dandruff off Mr. Savage’s jacket. Mr. Savage snapped. He yelled at me, told me not to touch him, and hit my arm violently three times. I could not stop crying. I was in pain, I was humiliated and I was scared. This was the last straw for me because now my physical safety was at risk. I immediately reported this incident to my superiors, and rather than taking any action against Mr. Savage, they encouraged me not to report Mr. Savage’s conduct because a lot of people could lose their jobs and I would not be able to work in the industry again. My complaints were ignored. The violence perpetrated against me was ignored and I was made to feel as if I did something wrong, that I was to blame and that I should just keep my mouth shut. I couldn’t believe this was happening and that Mr. Savage would not be stopped.”
Original (Cont’d): This lawsuit comes after Fred’s former Wonder Years co-star Alley Mills, 66, claimed the beloved series was cancelled after Fred and Jason Hervey, 45, were sued by a costume designer over sexual harassment. Monique Long claimed then then 16-year-old Fred and 20-year-old Jason “verbally and physically harassed her.” The lawsuit was ultimately dropped after an undisclosed, out-of-court settlement was reached. “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,” Alley added when speaking with Yahoo in January 2018. Fred, both at the time of the lawsuit and after it was dropped in 1996, denied all wrongdoing, claiming he was “exonerated” of all the accusations.