A new report sheds light on the allegations against actor and director Fred Savage, following his recent firing from ABC's reboot of The Wonder Years this past May. According to The Hollywood Reporter, six women came forward to Disney HR in February of this year to report accusations of Savage verbally harassing crew members, as well as allegedly sexually assaulting a former crew member. Savage, who starred on the original The Wonder Years series, served as executive producer and director on the reboot, directing eight episodes of the show before an internal investigation led to his firing, with Disney attributing the decision to "allegations of inappropriate conduct" back in May.
According to the women cited in the report, who have requested anonymity out of fear of damage to their own careers, Savage would exhibit two different personalities on the Wonder Years set, and could become angrier to "below-the-line employees who don't have power."
"These men in charge know what the public is looking for and they know what words to use," one woman states in the report. "We all felt supported by Fred. We truly thought he supported women. He told us he supported women. But this kind of support isn't real."
The women's report to HR was reportedly primarily motivated by Savage's relationship with a much younger woman working on the crew, which saw him being "extremely controlling of her daily behaviors." One woman claims that after she attempted to protect the younger woman from Savage, "he proceeded to verbally harass me and belittle me."
"When he pulled me aside multiple times when he was verbally harassing me, his eyes would go dead," the woman alleged. "[but then] he flips a switch and he's Fred Savage."
The report also dives into Savage's "very blatant favoritism" towards another younger female crewmember, which — although she initially regarded their dynamic as "very platonic" — reportedly turned problematic. In December 2021, after the crewmember in question had already been fired from The Wonder Years, she alleges that Savage sexually assaulted her as she was leaving the women's restroom in a bar.
"I started laughing, like, 'What are you doing? This is a women's bathroom,'" the woman says in the report, adding that Savage approached her with "just like, dead eyes" and pushed her against a wall. "I said, 'Please, don't do this.' I meant ruining the friendship. I was pleading, not from fear so much, but this was no going back... He put his mouth on mine very forcefully. He went for the top of my pants. I brushed him away. Then he put his mouth on mine again, grabbed my hand and pulled it on his groin area. I was pulling back. He stopped very angrily. I shoulder-checked him so I could get out."
In a statement to the outlet, Savage claims that the reported "some incidents being reported... absolutely did not and could not have happened."
"Since I was 6 years old, I have worked on hundreds of sets with thousands of people, and have always strived to contribute to an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment," Savage's statement reads. "It is devastating to learn that there are co-workers who feel I have fallen short of these goals. While there are some incidents being reported that absolutely did not and could not have happened, any one person who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one person too many. I will work to address and change any behavior that has negatively affected anyone, as nothing in this world is more important to me than being a supportive co-worker, friend, husband, father and person."0comments