Actor Fred Savage is the latest Hollywood man to come under fire for harassment, facing a lawsuit from a female crew member on the set of now-canceled sitcom The Grinder, who alleges the actor created a hostile work environment for her.
The suit stems from an alleged incident in 2015 where a woman working in wardrobe, Youngjoo Hwang, says Savage "violently struck her" as she was brushing dandruff off of his clothing, TMZ reports. According to his accuser, he would continue to mess with her on set, rolling his eyes, swearing at her, and otherwise intimidate her as he was allegedly known to do on set to other female staff as well. The lawsuit specifically alleges harassment, assault, battery, and discrimination and Hwang is reportedly seeking damages for emotional distress.
The actor released a statement about the whole situation, denying the claims as false. "These accusations are completely without merit and absolutely untrue," Savage said. "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."
It's worth noting that Savage has been at the center of harassment allegations in the past. Vanity Fair reports the then 16-year-old actor was accused of sexual harassment by costume designer Monique Long who worked with him on The Wonder Years, a move his television mother Alley Mills said would eventually bring the show to an end in 1993. Long was eventually fired.
As far as these current allegations, 20th Century Fox, which produced The Grinder before its cancellation, is also pushing back against the claims, saying their own investigation turned up clean. "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," they said in an official statement.
Hwang’s attorney, Anahita Sedaghatfar, claims requests were made to come to an agreement but Savage refused. “I look forward to ensuring that [Savage] will no longer have the opportunity to harm a woman again,” she said, citing the #MeToo movement as an important factor in Hwang, and other victims, to come forward with abuse claims.