Now that Lethal Weapon has been renewed for a third season at Fox—and has hired a new star, Seann William Scott, to replace the fired Clayne Crawford—it appears original cast member Damon Wayans has some things to say. Rumors of tension between Wayans and Crawford have circulated for weeks, but in a new series of tweets—which have now been made private—the actor gave his followers his version of why, exactly, Crawford was dismissed from the series.
Crawford, Wayans wrote, once “hit another actor in the mouth with a bottle of green tea and busted his mouth open.” In another tweet, he wrote, “Put up with this two seasons. Kiss the dark side of my ass if you dont understand it wasnt just me. @ClayneCrawford has a file of infractions.”
Wayans also posted a photo he said he got from the Warner Bros. lot. It depicted a picture of Crawford pasted to a pole with the caption “Clayne Crawford is an emotional terrorist.” In the accompanying post, Wayans wrote, “Not me! He became UNINSURABLE! Relished in making female [sic] cry. And stuck fear in cast and crew.” The actor also posted a photo of an on-set injury he allegedly suffered during an episode Crawford directed; following an explosion, Wayans took a piece of shrapnel to the back of his head.
Crawford himself addressed earlier accusations of bad behavior in April with an Instagram post, admitting that hed been reprimanded twice during the making of Lethal Weapons second season.
“The first reprimand was because I reacted with anger over working conditions that did not feel safe or conducive to good work under the leadership of a guest director and assistant director who, in turn, were angry at my response,” Crawford wrote—adding that he met with human resources following the incident, apologized, completed studio-mandated therapy, and “even shared a sizable portion of my paycheck with one of the parties involved per the instruction of the studio.” The second reprimand, he said, came during an episode he directed—in which an actor on set felt unsafe because a piece of shrapnel from an effect hit him. It would appear that actor was Wayans.
“I take great pride in treating everyone in life with dignity and kindness,” Crawford wrote in April. “I am very grateful for my job, and I work extremely hard at it. I have a responsibility to do good work for my co-workers, for my family, for my home state, and most especially for the fans. I hope they will stick with me, and stick with the show.”
Fox executives addressed Crawfords departure and replacement during a conference call on Tuesday, ahead of their programming presentation at New Yorks Beacon Theatre. As Fox Television Group C.E.O. and chairman Dana Walden told reporters, “This was not our choice.”
“Yes, it sounds very easy going into a third season on a show that we like a lot,” Walden said. “But, ultimately, our partners at Warner Bros. came to us about three weeks ago to tell us that they could not deliver Lethal Weapon as weve known it before—that there were some real challenges in the cast. They thought long and hard about it. I know that was not their first choice.”
“I think we ultimately made the right choice, and we are prepared to support it from a marketing point of view to educate viewers and fans of the show about a new dynamic, but a good one,” Walden added. “And a lot of a show that people love, which is still intact.”
Wayans and Clayne have not yet responded to requests for comment; Fox, meanwhile, declined to comment.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:15 of the Most Torturous Movie Shoots in Hollywood History
Making a massive superhero movie with a sprawling cast is never easy, but D.C.s Justice League truly is in a league of its own. Not only did director Zack Snyder drop out due to the tragic death of his daughter, but new director Joss Whedon has had to oversee two months worth of re-shoots, which is now causing a world of scheduling issues for the busy cast. Hes now also dealing with studio pressure to make the movie funnier and lighter in the wake of Batman v Supermans horrible reviews.Photo: Courtesy of Clay Enos/DC Comics.
The 1963 film about the iconic Egyptian queen has gone down as one of the most famously complicated shoots of all time. Cleopatra was not only the most expensive movie ever made at the time ($44 million, equivalent to $300 million today)—it also took multiple directors and years of embarrassingly fraught production to make, nearly destroying 20th Century Fox in the process.Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection
Its the textbook example of a potential blockbuster gone wrong. Michael Ciminos 1980 Western was supposed to be the post-Deer Hunter project that established his Hollywood prowess. Instead, it ran spectacularly over budget—a testament to his controlling nature—and was buried at first sight by ruthless critics, a devastating blow that haunted the filmmaker for the rest of his life.Photo: From United Artists/Everett Collection.
A comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty at the height of their fame should have been a home run. Instead, audiences got Ishtar, a critical bomb. It was a wreck behind the scenes as well, with the Moroccan setting proving inhospitable to traditional Hollywood production. Director and writer Elaine May also butted heads with cast and crew, and was nearly fired by the studio. Ishtar racked up a gargantuan $50 million budget and endured an incredibly tense 10-month post-production period, in which Hoffman, Beatty, and May all tried to make their own cuts of the film, which led to a screaming match between Beatty and May.Photo: From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.
Every decade has its own Cleopatra–esque bomb; in the 90s, it was Waterworld,Kevin Costners bloated sci-fi adventure. The film ran up a $175 million bill and became one of the biggest flops of all time. Bad luck was everywhere: a pricey set sank under water, cast members got seasick, and Costner nearly died after a stunt in which he was tied to the mast of a boat went ferociously wrong.Photo: From Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.
James Camerons $210 million epic was a logistical nightmare, thanks to its high budget and his perfectionist ways. He had massive set-pieces built to make the film look photo-realistic, and was picky about the smallest of details—like requesting real wallpaper instead of painted sets. Camerons famous temper also flared up on the stressful shoot, often putting him at odds with his crew and studio execs.Photo: From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.
Speaking of superhero movies . . . Suicide Squad was a perfect case of actors going a little too method. Jared Leto, in character as the Joker, would send his co-stars horrible gifts like rats and used condoms. Jai Courtneydid shrooms and burned himself. Director David Ayer encouraged the chaos, turning the set into a miniature fight club to help the actors bond through beating each other up. Its no wonder they needed an on-set therapist.Photo: By Clay Enos/Warner Bros./Everett Collection.PreviousNext
Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.