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Fred Savage, the executive producer and director of wonderful years reboot which starred in the 1988 original, got kicked out of reboot in May following allegations of misconduct on the show’s set, a 20th TV rep confirmed at the time. Savage has already been charged with misconduct on the set of the original wonderful years in 1993 and Fox’s The grinderwhich ran from 2015 to 2018. On August 9, new details emerged about the misconduct allegations, with several female crew members recounting The Hollywood Reporter that Savage’s alleged “erratic” behavior and his closeness to a young woman on set led six women on the crew to report Savage to HR, which prompted a prompt investigation. “To their credit, I was contacted within hours,” says a woman THR. “An investigation immediately began and he was removed from the set.”
Beyond Savage’s alleged multiple personas (uppers “all see his perfect, perfect face”, while “employees below the line who have no power” see something different), several members of crew say interactions with a young female crew member made them feel uncomfortable. Sources say Savage was “extremely controlling in his day-to-day behaviors” and “manipulative and erratic” towards the woman. After a crew member tried to intervene, she says Savage “started verbally harassing me and putting me down.” She tells the publication that she found Savage “creepy” and that his “eyes were going to die” during the alleged verbal harassment, but then “he flips a switch and he’s Fred Savage”. The crew members claim that the young woman’s personality changed after she got closer to Savage. Other sources say she moved into her rental home in Cabbagetown, Atlanta during filming. The young woman refused to speak with THR.
Another woman working on the reboot has made a separate accusation against the ousted director-producer. She says she befriended Savage while working on The good years and sometimes went to dinner with him. Although she refused his expensive gifts, the two remained “platonic” friends. During a group dinner in December 2021 in Astoria, near Savage’s house, at a bar frequented by the crew, she went to the bathroom. Savage reportedly entered the bathroom after leaving the cabin. “I started laughing, like, ‘What are you doing? It’s a women’s bathroom,'” she recalled. The source said Savage approached her. I said, ‘Please don’t do this.’ I meant ruining the friendship,” she told the mag. “I was begging, not so much out of fear, but it wasn’t a turn back.” Apparently Savage “put his mouth on mine with great force. He reached for the top of my pants. I swept him away. Then he put his mouth to mine again, grabbed my hand and pulled it to his groin area. I pulled back. He stopped very angry. I checked him on the shoulder so I could get out. Following the alleged incident, the woman says she was ‘scared of him for the first time’.
Savage attempted to contact her after the alleged events at the Astoria bar. In a voicemail message shared with THR, he apologized to the woman. “It’s your old friend Fred,” he said. “We worked together for a while, then we didn’t work anymore, then I was a huge asshole. A huge asshole. And I’m really sorry. And I 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 I messed this up.
Savage responded to the allegations of misconduct in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “It is devastating to learn that there are colleagues who believe that I have not achieved these objectives. Although there are reported incidents which absolutely did not take place and which would not have could have happened, anyone who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one too many,” he told the publication Vulture reached out to Savage’s reps for comment.