We wrote a lot about Clayne Crawford’s firing from Lethal Weapon last Spring, which extends from Crawford’s tempermental on-set behavior, a feud with co-star Damon Wayans, and an incident in which Damon Wayans was hurt by a piece of shrapnel while Crawford was directing an episode.
Reading between the lines of everything that was reported last Spring, I feel fairly confident that Crawford was fired because he and Wayans hated each other — because Wayans was often late or absent from the set, and because Crawford has an explosive temper, and because they were forced to spend 14 hours a day together for the better part of three years — and that, in the end, someone had to go because they couldn’t work together anymore. Damon Wayans is easily the most famous of the duo (even if Crawford is the better actor), so it was Crawford who got sent packing, a possibility that seemed remote to Crawford, according to an interview he did with the, uh, Drunk Bros. Podcast (via TV Guide):
“It’s a little different when you replace Becky or the mom off of Fresh Prince. Like it’s a little — like if they’d replaced the Fresh Prince, we’d have been like what the f—- are we watching anyway? That’s why I just didn’t think it was possible,” Crawford says of his firing, noting that to this day he’s never received a phone call about not returning. “I just didn’t think they were going to get rid of me, I guess. And if they did, I thought they’d give me a buzz… just a jangle? Just grab two cans and a string and just be like, ‘You’re not coming back. We feel like this is the Damon Wayans Show and people just don’t like you. So go the f—- back to Alabama you dumb hick, thanks for playing.’”
Crawford is a great actor, but he’s not the Fresh Prince, and it was very naive (and egotistical) of him to believe that he couldn’t be replaced. We’re all Becky in Roseanne, Clayne.
Crawford said that WB head Peter Roth basically told him that if Crawford wanted to keep his job, he’d have to eat some sh*t.
“He said, ‘Clayne, I can’t promise you that I can save your job, but what I can tell you is that you have to make a public announcement apologizing, publicly, to Damon Wayans,’” Crawford says. “I was like, “What the fu-? Peter, why would I apologize publicly because he and I had a riff on set?’ And he’s like, ‘Clayne, that statement alone tells me you don’t want to come back.’”
Know your place in the ecosystem, Crawford. You want to make millions of dollars appearing in America’s television sets every week, you have to eat a little sh*t when you’re number two on the call sheet.
As for the tapes of his outbursts that were released? First off, he said that they had been blackmailing him for months with those tapes (so? Apologize!), and that he never yelled at a kid in a pool (that’s a “blatant f—-king lie”), that he was merely yelling at the first AD, whose job it was to keep those kids in the pool from yelling.
“I snapped,” Crawford admits. “Should I have gone to my trailer? 100 percent. Should I have just gone and waited? That’s what I was instructed to do when there was a problem — you go sit in your trailer and you lock your door and you take a nap. … Hollywood is very sensitive, so I should not have screamed and yelled, right, because it’s a bunch of very delicate flowers out there.”
As for the shrapnel incident? It sounds like that was purely an accident (Crawford was cleared in an investigation), but that Wayans thought that Crawford was targeting him because Wayans knew Crawford hated him and he was paranoid.
Finally, as for the tape of Wayans telling Crawford to “suck my dick” and Crawford calling Wayans, “the biggest crybaby p*ssy I’ve ever met in my life,” well, yeah. That happened. Again, they hate each other, and — whether Crawford likes it or not — it was on him to make the situation better and, failing that, it was his ass that got tossed.
Lethal Weapon will be back this fall with Sean William Scott, who I am guessing is very adept at eating sh*t.
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