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Why Did Frankie Muniz Walk Off the Set of 'Malcolm in the Middle' For Two Episodes?

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 1, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | April 1, 2024 |


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For reasons that I do not understand, Frankie Muniz is a celebrity participant in this season of I’m A Celebrity Australia, although his IMDb suggests that this is the lane he’s been in for the last 20 years. When he’s not racing cars, he’s doing guest roles on TV shows, often playing himself; voice work; and appeared in celebrity competition series (he actually placed third in the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars).

During this week’s episode of I’m A Celebrity Australia, Frankie Muniz made a somewhat surprising revelation, according to News.com.au: He walked off the set of Malcolm in the Middle for two episodes.

“There were two episodes I’m not in. I walked off the set,” he told his campmates. He added that “certain people” were out of control and his other castmates were afraid.

“Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling, rude, or disrespectful. Like they walked on pins and needles,” he explains. I was so mortified by seeing people afraid to stand up for themselves that I was like, ‘Say something.’ I didn’t care if they told me I was never going back because it was worth it to me. It helped that the show was based around me.”

I tried to investigate this to see who “certain people” might be. The only adult cast members were Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek, who are widely regarded as wonderful actors with whom to work (in fact, there are several articles on the Internet that suggest as much, including one in which Cranston himself says that Kaczmarek is a lovely person with whom to work).

The other reason it is hard to speculate is that there is only a record of Frankie Muniz missing one episode, late in season four, which was a clip show (he appeared in archive footage). However, he appeared in both the episode prior to it and the other after it.

It is worth noting, however, that the person outside of the cast best associated with Malcolm in the Middle was the creator, Linwood Boomer, otherwise best known for playing Adam Kendall when he was younger on Little House on the Prairie. Boomer basically quit the business after Malcolm, save for consulting on a few episodes of The Mindy Project. There is nothing on the Internet, however, to suggest that Boomer was ever difficult to work with.

Update: Prior to the quote above, Muniz was complaining about assistant directors. Two, in particular:

ADs can either be amazing or horrendous. There’s not a lot of in between. Their job is the keep the production on schedule. So when a department like electric or hair and makeup or sound needs more time to do something right the AD often doesn’t want to hear it … Some are rigid dicks that start yelling and screaming like Gordon Ramsey because when the day goes over and they have to feed the crew a third time and start paying double time and they lose the child actors it falls on their shoulders. It’s an extremely stressful position and I would argue most people aren’t cut out for it.

Presumably, it’s the ADs to whom he is referring, then.