Fred Savage issued a statement today, denying accusations that he bullied an employee on the set of his Fox legal sitcom The Grinder, and citing an internal investigation at the network that “found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage.” The accusations come from crew member Younjoo Hwang, who says Savage created “an extremely hostile work environment” on the show’s set, where “aggressive behavior, intimidation, and constant use of profanities aimed toward female employees was left unchecked.”
Hwang, who worked in the show’s wardrobe department, is seeking monetary damages for Savage’s alleged behavior. Her attorney, Anahita Sedaghatfar, said today that she’s conducted her own investigation of the incidents, corroborating Hwang’s claims. She also said Hwang isn’t the only woman to have made accusations against the Wonder Years star, stating, “I look forward to ensuring that [Savage] will no longer have the opportunity to harm a woman again.”
Savage has carved out a second career in recent years as a TV director and producer; besides The Grinder, in which he starred opposite Rob Lowe, he’s directed episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Modern Family, and several other well-regarded TV comedies. You can read his full statement—in which he denies Hwang’s claims, while also expressing his continued support for the wider #MeToo movement—below:
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.