Full House creator Jeff Franklin is suing over his firing from the series’ Netflix spinoff Fuller House, claiming a colleague conspired to steal his place as showrunner.
Franklin says co-executive producer Bryan Behar was “motivated by a secret hatred of him” and conspired to get him thrown off the series during his renegotiations with Warner Bros.
“As the heart and soul of the Full House franchise, these tremendously successful shows are the great joy of Franklin’s professional life, and the cast has become a second family to him for over 30 years,” writes attorney Larry Stein in the complaint. Franklin’s run on the reboot was cut short last year when his contract wasn’t renewed amid reports of “behavioral” issues — which he now says were fabricated by Behar in an effort to take over Fuller House by taking advantage of #MeToo sensitivities.
Franklin signed a three-year deal with Warner Bros. in 2015 as executive producer and showrunner of Fuller House, and brought in Behar and Steve Baldikoski, who came recommended by Warners, according to the complaint. Franklin says he was “extremely supportive” of the duo despite them telling him that they “had worked on nineteen different sitcoms and never once were they asked to come back for a second season.”
The ousted showrunner claims Behar was habitually late to work, didn’t get along with other writers, fell asleep during rewrite sessions and had mood swings. Franklin says Behar kept a “little black book” in which he would write down anything Franklin did that could be twisted and used against him.
Negotiations to extend Franklin’s agreement began in the fall of 2017 as Warners was waiting for confirmation from Netflix that the show would be renewed for its fourth season. That’s when, according to the complaint, Franklin believes Behar turned to the media and slandered him with false complaints about his behavior in the writers room. The publication didn’t go for the story, and Franklin says Behar in January 2018 took his story directly to Warners. Those complaints allegedly included that Franklin commented on the appearance of Fuller House staffers, told female writers to dress provocatively, discussed his sexual experiences and verbally abused people in the writers room and on set — none of which are true, according to the complaint.
“Unfortunately, Behar’s plan worked as Warner Brothers abruptly stopped all negotiations and terminated its relationship with Franklin,” writes Stein. “In need of a showrunner to carry on the schedule for Fuller House‘s fourth season, Warner Brothers appointed Behar to replace Franklin.”
Warner Bros. has not yet replied to a request for comment on the complaint.