Beloved TV show “The Wonder Years” was taken off the air after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against its star Fred Savage, according to Alley Mills, the actress who played his on-screen mom.
Earlier this week, Mills told Yahoo that the ABC show’s six-season run was cut short due to what she called a “completely ridiculous” sexual harassment lawsuit.
“When we shot the series finale … nobody knew whether or not ‘The Wonder Years’ was going to be renewed. And that’s because of a completely ridiculous sexual harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage — who is like, the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the Earth,” she said.
In 1993, Monique Long, a 31-year-old costume designer who worked on the show, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against 16-year-old Fred Savage (who played Kevin Arnold), and 20-year-old Jason Hervey (who played older brother Wayne Arnold).
Long claimed that the actors verbally and physically harassed her, and she filed a lawsuit after she was fired from the set after complaining about Savage’s hand holding, requests for an affair and sexual remarks.
“So I just thought [the lawsuit] was a big joke and it was going to blow over,” Mills said. “It’s a little bit like what’s happening now — some innocent people can get caught up in this stuff; it’s very tricky. It was so not true. It was my dresser, and I don’t care if she’s listening — I probably shouldn’t be telling this, but I don’t care because it was so long ago, and it’s gotta be over now.”
The allegations were eventually dropped, and the matter was settled outside of court.
“I just thought this was a joke. You know, they bought her off, which really made me mad,” Mills recalls. “That was incorrigible that the network did that; they should never have paid her off. They wanted to avoid a scandal or something, but it made them look guilty. You know, you don’t pay someone off when there was no crime, you just fire the girl.”
In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked “The Wonder Years” No. 63 on its list of 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.