Alley Mills, who played Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years, revealed that a lawsuit filed against Fred Savage led to the beloved show ending after its sixth season.
In an interview with Yahoo published on Friday, January 26, Mills said of the hit ABC series, “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,” the actress, 66, explained. “So I just thought [the lawsuit] was a big joke and it was going to blow over.”
The Los Angeles Times revealed in March 1993 that Savage, who played Kevin Arnold, then 16, and his costar Jason Hervey, then 20, who played his brother on the show, were named in a lawsuit by Monique Long, the show’s costume designer. The then-31-year-old alleged that the actors verbally and physically harassed her. Savage and a spokesperson for the show denied the accusations.
The lawsuit was later dropped after an undisclosed out-of-court settlement was reached, according to Yahoo. Mills believed the network played a part in the settlement, saying, “I just thought this was a joke. You know, they bought her off, which really made me mad. 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.”
Savage spoke about the lawsuit to SF Gate in 1996 after the lawsuit was dropped, saying, “I was completely exonerated. I really don’t want to talk about it. It was a terrible experience.”
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