“The Wonder Years” actress Alley Mills is opening up about the reason the hit ABC period show was canceled after six seasons — and she blames a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fred Savage that she called “ridiculous.”
“When we shot the series finale … nobody knew whether or not ‘The Wonder Years’ was going to be renewed,” Mills, who played Norma Arnold, said in a recent interview with Yahoo (watch it below). “And that’s because of a completely ridiculous sexual harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage — who is, like, the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the Earth.”
The lawsuit Mills is referencing was filed in 1993 — the final year “The Wonder Years” was on air — by costume designer Monique Long, who was 31 years old at the time. It alleged then-16-year-old Savage and his co-star Jason Hervey, who was 20-years-old at the time, verbally and physically harassed her.
Long said in the lawsuit that the actors harrassed her to the point of being unable to do her job, and it resulted in her firing.
At the time, ABC and the actors denied the accusations. A rep from ABC declined comment when TheWrap reached out on Friday. Savage and Hervey did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and an email request to Long was not immediately answered.
In her Yahoo interview, Mills expressed frustration because the cast was asked not to speak on the matter: “We had a gag order on us, and I wanted to scream on television, ‘This is ridiculous!'”
“So I just thought [the lawsuit] was a big joke and it was going to blow over,” Mills said, pointing to the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
“It’s a little bit like what’s happening now — some innocent people can get caught up in this stuff; it’s very tricky,” she said. “It was so not true. It was my dresser, and I don’t care if she’s listening — I probably shouldn’t be telling this, but I don’t care because it was so long ago and it’s gotta be over now.”
The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, which Mills said she found “incorrigible.”
“I just thought this was a joke. You know, they bought her off, which really made me mad,” she said. “That was incorrigible that the network did that; they should never have paid her off. They wanted to avoid a scandal or something, but it made them look guilty. You know, you don’t pay someone off when there was no crime, you just fire the girl.”