Damon Wayans says he is “quitting” Fox drama “Lethal Weapon” in December after wrapping on the first 13 episodes of Season 3.
“I’m going to be quitting the show in December after we finish the initial 13 [episodes],” he said in a video interview with Electronic Urban Report. “I’m a 58-year-old diabetic and I’m working 16-hour days.”
“Like Murtaugh said, ‘I’m too old for this,’” Wayans added, channeling his character, Roger Murtaugh, who was played in the “Lethal Weapon” movies by Danny Glover.
The father of “Happy Together” star Damon Wayans Jr. said that he plans to “return to the stage” to “try to find my smile again.”
“This has been very hard. Especially last week,” he said. “My mother had surgery, my daughter had surgery, and I had to look ’em both in the eye and go, ‘I can’t be there.’ It’s hard for me to play this loving, supportive father, husband, friend on TV and be the guy in life that’s telling everybody, ‘I can’t, I gotta work.’”
“You have to look yourself in the eye and go, ‘Who are you?’ And it can’t all be about work. And I’m from a big family, a loving family and I haven’t seen them. All the family gatherings — I’m too tired or I can’t because it conflicts with work,” he said. “I have seven grandkids. I’ve been missing recitals and graduations. To me, it’s just not worth it. There’s a better way to live life.”
Watch the video above.
Fox and “Lethal Weapon” studio Warner Bros. both declined TheWrap’s requests for comment on this story.
Wayans said he is scheduled to shoot straight through until Dec. 21 or Dec. 22.
The small-screen version of “Lethal Weapon” has been marred with casting issues.
Wayans’ former co-star Clayne Crawford was fired from the Fox drama and his character killed off after on-set clashes between the two nearly led to its cancellation. In June, footage surfaced of the actors exchanging expletives over an injury Wayans sustained on an episode Crawford was directing. In another incident, Crawford was caught losing his temper during a scene disrupted by background noise. Two months before that video leaked, Crawford apologized for his behavior, saying he’d “been reprimanded twice during the past two seasons of ‘Lethal Weapon.’”
Crawford, who played Riggs (Mel Gibson’s role from the movies), has been effectively replaced by “American Pie” alum Seann William Scott in a newly created role. Fans have not responded favorably to the new partnership, as evidenced by declining Nielsen ratings.