A couple of days ago, Deadline reported that the future of Lethal Weapon was in doubt because its co-lead, Clayne Crawford, had received complaints of emotional abuse and creating a hostile environment on the set of the series. It’s stupendously unfortunate because Crawford is the only reason to watch Lethal Weapon, and if it turns out that he’s an asshole, well, there’s no reason to continue watching.
Yesterday, Crawford addressed those allegations and apologized in an Instagram statement.
According to the statement, there were two instances, one in which he blew up at the guest director and assistant director for what he felt like was an unsafe working environment. According to Deadline, the director quit before finishing the episode over Crawford’s behavior, and apparently, Crawford was extra sensitive at that time because he’d just come off an on-set injury on a movie.
He attended therapy and subsequently gave a portion of his check to those with whom he got angry.
The second incident is the one that is most threatening the future of the series, because the actor who “felt unsafe because he was hit with shrapnel” was Crawford’s co-star, Damon Wayans, and Crawford himself was the director, so the shrapnel incident was Crawford’s responsibility. From Deadline:
I hear the actor involved was Wayans. I hear the incident happened on the second day of filming the episode, and production already had been behind because Wayans had called in sick the first day. Following the shrapnel incident, Wayans was sent home for the day and when he returned to work, he set limitations to what he was willing to do in the episode, even if it was in the script, including not holding a gun or running down stairs, citing safety concerns. I hear that led to an argument with Crawford, with Crawford using strong words to tell Wayans how he felt about him.
I hear the issue went all the way to the high ranks of the studio, Warner Bros. TV. And while Crawford ultimately completed the episode, I hear the relationship between the two stars suffered irreparable damage.
Wayans and Crawford, who started work on the show as the epitome of Lethal Weapon’s buddy genre — two buddies getting along — now had stopped speaking to each other.
Reading further into the piece — particularly the parts about how Wayans refuses to do table reads, and that he wouldn’t run down stairs or hold a gun — suggests that perhaps this issue runs both ways, but I won’t speculate any further.