Savage rose to fame as Kevin Arnold, a teenager in the late 1960s (and later early 1970s), who he played for six seasons from 1988 to 1993. When the original series, which also starred Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Jason Hervey, Olivia d’Abo, Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar, came to an end, allegations that Savage and Hervey were accused of sexual harassment surfaced.
Monique Long, a former costume designer on the ABC show, alleged in a 1993 lawsuit that she was verbally and physically harassed daily by the two actors. They denied the claims at the time and the lawsuit was dropped after an undisclosed settlement was reached, per the Los Angeles Times. The allegations resurfaced in 2018 when Mills, who played Savage’s mother, discussed whether the lawsuit played a role in the cancellation of the series.
“When we shot the series finale … nobody knew whether or not The Wonder Years was going to be renewed,” she told Yahoo at the time. “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. … So I just thought [the lawsuit] was a big joke and it was going to blow over. … 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.”
That same year, Savage was under investigation for alleged harassment and assault on the set of Fox’s The Grinder, which aired from 2015 to 2016.
“I was made aware that a woman working in the costume department of a show I was on almost three years ago has claimed that I treated her harshly on set simply because she was a woman,” he said in a statement in 2018. “These accusations are completely without merit and absolutely untrue. Fox conducted an extensive internal investigation into her claims, a process in which I fully participated. After concluding a thorough investigation, Fox determined that there was absolutely no evidence to support these accusations. None of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen.”
A rep for 20th Century Fox Television added in a statement at the time there was a “thorough investigation into these allegations and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage.”
After previously shutting down the idea of revisiting The Wonder Years, Savage signed on to help ABC reboot the show as a director and producer. As the first season wrapped up, news broke in May 2022 that he was fired amid new allegations of misconduct.
“Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched,” a spokesperson for 20th Television said in a statement to Deadline. “Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of The Wonder Years.”
Scroll through for a complete timeline of Savage’s ups and downs: