A long-running internal conflict on the set of Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” spilled out into the open this week, as one star got replaced and another tweeted out his side of the story.
Reports of a rift between Damon Wayans, who plays Roger Murtaugh in the TV adaptation of the classic buddy cop film, and Clayne Crawford, cast as Martin Riggs, had circulated for weeks, casting doubt on whether the show would return for a third season.
It will, but Mr. Crawford will not. Warner Bros. Television, the producing studio, and Fox announced Sunday that the actor was being replaced with Seann William Scott (“Goon,” “American Pie”). “Our partners at Warner Bros. came to us about three weeks ago to tell us that they could not deliver ‘Lethal Weapon’ as we’ve known it, that there were some real challenges in the cast,” Dana Walden, the head of 20th Century Fox Television, said Monday at the network’s upfront presentation, according to TVLine. The upfronts detail a network’s coming season for ad buyers.
Then on Monday night, Mr. Wayans responded to fans angry about Mr. Crawford’s firing in a series of now-deleted posts on Twitter. These included a graphic video that purported to show him being hit in the head by shrapnel during the filming of an episode Mr. Crawford was directing and a photograph of a flyer calling Mr. Crawford an “emotional terrorist,” according to screenshots posted by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Since @warnerbrostv is not defending me at all.. here’s another photo of images other people were posting in and around the lot,” Mr. Wayans wrote. “Not me! He became UNINSURABLE! Relished in making female cry. And struck fear in cast and crew. #dontblameme.”
Mr. Wayans eventually set his Twitter account to private, before deleting it altogether.
The source of the conflict was apparently Mr. Crawford’s behavior on set. In an Instagram post last month, the actor acknowledged that he had been reprimanded twice for misconduct: Once for reacting in anger over what he considered unsafe working conditions, and a second time when shrapnel hit an unnamed actor during filming. That actor turned out to be Mr. Wayans.
However, other actors offered support for Mr. Crawford, including Hilarie Burton, who appeared in six episodes of “Lethal Weapon.”
Another actor, Kurt Yaeger, who was in one episode, posted a message on Twitter with Mr. Crawford’s account tagged: “My experience was a pleasure, it was professional & nothing but good vibes happened during my episode of Lethal Weapon.”
Mr. Crawford’s character will be written out of the series. The actor responded to his firing on Instagram: “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.”
Mr. Wayans and Mr. Crawford did not respond to a request for comment. Warner Bros. Television and Fox declined to comment.