Fred Savage and 20th Century Fox Television are speaking out after the 41-year-old actor was accused in a new lawsuit of harassment and assault on the set of The Grinder.
“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,” Savage said in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 21. “I’ve seen firsthand 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.”
He continued, “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.”
The Wonder Years alum concluded, “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.”
A rep for 20th Century Fox Television, which produced The Grinder, also responded to the claims. “Fox takes all allegations of improper conduct very seriously. We conducted a thorough investigation into these allegations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage,” the studio said in a statement to Us. “We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”
As previously reported, Youngjoo Hwang, a former wardrobe department crew member on the Fox sitcom, filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County on Wednesday. She claimed that Savage created a hostile work environment on set in 2015 by repeatedly berating her and other women in front of others. She also alleged that he once became enraged and “violently struck” her three times in the arm after she tried to brush dandruff off the clothes he was wearing.
In January, The Wonder Years star Alley Mills claimed that the ABC dramedy was canceled in 1993 due to a sexual harassment lawsuit against Savage and their costar Jason Hervey. Savage denied the allegations at the time and the suit was eventually settled out of court.
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