Former Lethal Weapon star Clayne Crawford has broken his silence after being fired from the Fox and Warner Bros. TV procedural.
“To my cast and crew — CONGRATULATIONS on season 3! To the Fans — Thank you for the overwhelming support and love. Riggs was a dream role and the experience will live with me forever. My heart is full. Good Luck nxt season!!” the actor wrote on Instagram hours after Fox and Warners confirmed he would not be returning for the newly announced third season. (See his post, which accompanied a somber photo, below.)
Fox on Sunday renewed Lethal Weapon for a third season, with Seann William Scott (American Pie) filling the void created by Crawford’s dismissal and joining the drama in a new role opposite Damon Wayans. (Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Scott will play the brother to Crawford’s Martin Riggs, thus keeping the Murtaugh-Riggs names from the film franchise alive.)
The news comes days after Crawford was fired from the Fox series following bad behavior on set. The actor recently apologized for two incidents for which he was reprimanded during the sophomore season. Warners on Sunday confirmed Crawford will not return to the drama with a statement: “Warner Bros. Television has decided not to renew Clayne Crawford’s contract for Lethal Weapon.”
Sources tell THR that Warners opted to fire Crawford after he was disciplined each time for his poor behavior. Despite the studio’s repeated reprimands, the actor did nothing to change his behavior, so Warners chose to fire him and would not even consider the show moving foward with Crawford attached. Instead, the Peter Roth-run studio aggressively pursued a number of actors to step in rather than take a large financial blow by ending it prematurely. Fox never had the option to renew the series with Crawford attached.
Lethal Weapon is a strong performer domestically and internationally — the film franchise is a global smash, having grossed hundreds of millions of dollars — and the network was willing to work with the studio to find a way to move forward. Lethal Weapon is currently the only show produced outside of Fox counterpart 20th TV on the network’s 2018-19 roster.
In his apology, Crawford detailed the two incidents that ultimately led to his eventual firing. He said the first incident happened when he became angry with what he deemed unsafe working conditions on the set. After the outburst, the actor said he met with human resources, apologized for his role in the conflict and completed studio-appointed therapy, while also sharing a “sizable portion” of his paycheck with one of the parties involved — at Warners’ request. The second incident occurred during an episode Crawford was directing when another actor on set felt unsafe after being hit by a piece of shrapnel from an effect.
“I absolutely love, respect and care for my crew and cast, and would never intentionally jeopardize so many jobs,” Crawford wrote. “I an incredibly sorry if my passion for doing good work has ever made anyone feel less than comfortable on our set, or feel less than celebrated for their efforts. Furthermore, I apologize to all the crew and cast for any negative attention Lethal Weapon is receiving because of these incidents.”
Crawford’s behavior had left Lethal Weapon — one of Fox’s better-performing dramas — on the bubble as many connected with the series (including, Wayans, sources note) have said they would rather not work with the actor. Producers were left to scramble to find a new actor to replace Crawford in the two-hander, with multiple stars passing on offers to join the Fox show until Scott engaged. The role will be his first TV series regular roles after the American Pie franchise and numerous other features.
Days after multiple outlets, including THR, reported that Crawford had been fired from the series, the actor posted multiple messages on his verified social media accounts indicating that he had yet to be informed of his future on Lethal Weapon. “When everyone seems to know your future but you. Zero communication with Fox or Warner Bros. I hope I’m not fired!! Dang,” he posted on Instagram alongside a photo of himself with an amusing shrug. In the days that followed, Crawford retweeted notes of support from past co-stars praising his professionalism.
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