Fred Savage issued a strong denial of an assault accusation made against him on Wednesday, saying that the allegations contained in a lawsuit filed by a crew member on his now-defunct Fox series “The Grinder” are “completely without merit and absolutely untrue.”
“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,” Savage said in a statement issued Wednesday. “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.”
He added, “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. 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. 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 denigrate me while harming the message of thousands of women and others who have suffered and continue to suffer.”
20th Century Fox Television, which produced “The Grinder,” came to Savage’s defense in its own statement Wednesday, saying that it had conducted “a thorough investigation” into the accusations made by former staffer Youngjoo Hwang and had found no evidence of wrongdoing on the actor’s part.
The studio also said that it would “vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”
“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,” the statement reads. “We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims.”
Youngjoo Hwang filed suit on Wednesday, accusing Savage of assault, according to TMZ. Hwang said that Savage shot dirty looks at her, rolled his eyes and tossed profanities around when she was working on the show. Hwang also said that Savage told female crew members, “Don’t ever even f—ing look at me anymore!”
According to TMZ, Hwang, who worked on the show as a costumer, said that the former “Wonder Years” star “violently struck [her] arm three times with his hand” after she dusted dandruff off his tuxedo jacket.
“The Grinder,” which was canceled in 2016 after a single season, starred Savage and Rob Lowe as brothers who reunite to run a small law firm in Boise.