Fox is standing behind actor Fred Savage after an investigation into a claim that he assaulted a crew member on the set of the now-canceled sitcom The Grinder.
“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. We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims,” said 20th Century Fox Television in a statement.
Savage had been accused of assault by former The Grinder crew member Youngjoo Hwang. According to TMZ, Hwang filed her suit on Wednesday, saying Savage regularly mistreated female crew members on set, giving them dirty looks and telling them,”Don’t ever even f—ing look at me anymore!” Hwang alleged that Savage “violently struck [her] arm three times with his hand” during a costume fitting.
Fox has now rejected these claims, calling them “unfounded,” and is defending Savage following an internal investigation.
Savage also released a statement, saying, “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 actor also applauded the “tremendous courage” of women who have spoken out about abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry. “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,” Savage said. “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, to denigrate me while harming the message of thousands of women and others who have suffered and continue to suffer.”
In January, Savage’s former The Wonder Years costar Alley Mills revealed that she believed the show was canceled because of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Savage and fellow castmate Jason Hervey — claims she said were unfounded. In 1993, a costume designer filed a lawsuit alleging Savage and Hervey verbally and physically harassed her. The actors’ attorneys dismissed her claims as those of a “disgruntled employee.”