The ABC reboot “The Wonderful Years” garnered a relatively solid buzz during its first season on the air and as a result managed to earn itself an extension for a second season on the network. However, the show will move forward without one key figure, series director and EP Fred Savage, who was fired after a misconduct investigation a few months ago. Since then, more alleged details about Savage’s firing have come to light, including Savage’s alleged bad behavior with younger crew members. Against the background of this situation, both he and the dramedy studio made statements about this.
What did 20th Television say about the dismissal of Fred Savage
News of Fred Savage’s dismissal appeared back in May, when it was said that the star faced three separate charges. It was also said that the star, who played the main role in the OG Wonder Years show, cooperated with the proceedings. 20th Television, which produces the series, did not provide any details about the alleged incidents at the time, although a statement from the entertainment organization (which was shared with THR and other news outlets) suggested that the data received was enough for Savage to be taken out of production:
Recently, we became aware of allegations of inappropriate behavior by Fred Savage, and an investigation was launched in accordance with the policy. Upon its completion, it was decided to dismiss him from the post of executive producer and director of The Wonder Years.
Additional alleged details of the behind-the-scenes situation emerged earlier this week. And at the same time, Kevin Arnold’s actor made a statement in response to the accusations.
How Fred Savage reacted to the numerous accusations he faced
THR has released a voluminous report detailing the allegations from several people. According to the exchange, a group of six women gathered on the set to take action against Fred Savage. The women, who did not introduce themselves, accused Savage of being cordial and friendly towards the show’s stars and network executives, but was less accommodating when it came to “rank-and-file employees who have no power.” Part of these charges were accusations of verbal abuse.
The women also noted the alleged relationship that the former director had established with a younger member of the crew, adding that the woman’s personality was negatively affected by her interaction with a television veterinarian. Another woman also claimed that Fred Savage followed her to the toilet and physically subdued her before “forcibly” touching her lips. In connection with this story, Savage released a statement in which he responded to the claims and stated that he is currently working on himself:
Since the age of 6, I have worked on hundreds of film sets with thousands of people and have always sought to contribute to an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment. It is terrible to find out that there are colleagues who believe that I have not achieved these goals. Although there are reports of some incidents that absolutely did not happen and could not have happened, any person who feels offended or offended by my actions is too much. I will work to eliminate and change any behavior that has negatively affected anyone, because for me there is nothing more important in this world than being a supportive colleague, friend, husband, father and person.
Fred Savage’s participation in the reboot of “Wonderful Years” was reported in the summer of 2020. It is reported that the actor played an important role in the launch of the show along with the creator of the series Saladin K. Patterson and EP Lee Daniels. The star was even there to greet the main character of the series, Elisha “E.J.” Williams, on the show. Savage eventually directed seven episodes of the first season, including the pilot.
The action of this new iteration of “Wonderful Years” takes place in the late 60s and is dedicated to the Williams family, a black family living in Montgomery, Alabama. The central character is 12—year-old Dean, who, like Kevin Arnold before him, experiences the ups and downs that come with adolescence. The show especially features Dule Hill, who plays the patriarch of the Bill family. Hill spoke openly about how OG fans reacted to the show after initially being skeptical. In terms of storytelling, there’s not a lot of connective tissue between the series, although they do have a big connection with Vinnie Cooper.
Part of the coming-of-age period is set to return to ABC for a second season in 2023 as a mid-season addition. Meanwhile, what awaits Fred Savage ahead is hard to say, but it seems obvious that he will no longer participate in the show.
The first season of The Wonder Years is available for viewing on a Hulu subscription.