In an interview on the Drinkin’ Bros. podcast, Crawford, who played Riggs, talks with host Ross Patterson about the allegations that led to his ouster from the Fox series. Crawford says when the first news story of the allegations came out, he didn’t pay much attention, saying he believed it would all “blow over.”
In particular, he addresses two on-set incidents, one during a location shoot in a park during which he can be heard on tape shouting “Shut the f**k up” to the assistant director over noise issues on the set.
“I knew that they had those tapes, and they had been blackmailing me with that… anytime I had a problem with [Damon Wayans],” Crawford explains. (Crawford alleged Wayans’ refused to attend table reads or film in churches). “When the incident happened, I had to pay half of my salary for that episode, I had to spend six weeks in anger management every day on my lunch break, and I had to be escorted to and from set by a security guard, so it was humiliating.”
He also blisters at an allegation that he was yelling at children at a nearby pool that day, calling it a “blatant f—king lie… Clearly I’m yelling at the guy whose job it is to get the set quiet,” he says. “And here’s the thing: Did I make a poor choice? Absolutely, and I felt embarrassed in the moment because I was belligerent… We’d been shooting a three-page scene for eight hours, OK? We were so behind, and we continued to try and shoot through all of this noise… We stopped production over seven times. I called my agent, we were writing emails, we were phoning everyone we could to try and help us resolve the situation. No one would come in, no one would help us… So I shot all of my coverage in between the sounds.”
“I snapped,” Crawford admits. “Should I have gone to my trailer? 100 percent. Should I have just gone and waited? That’s what I was instructed to do when there was a problem — you go sit in your trailer and you lock your door and you take a nap. … Hollywood is very sensitive, so I should not have screamed and yelled, right, because it’s a bunch of very delicate flowers out there.”
Crawford also tells Patterson, “to this day” he has never received a call from Warner Bros. informing him he was fired, learning his fate from social media and Deadline. He said his last conversation with studio president Peter Roth came after news first surfaced of the on-set issues. “He said, ‘Clayne, I can’t promise you that I can save your job, but what I can tell you is that you have to make a public announcement apologizing, publicly, to Damon Wayans,’” Crawford says. “I was like, “What the fu—? Peter, why would I apologize publicly because he and I had a riff on set?’ And he’s like, ‘Clayne, that statement alone tells me you don’t want to come back… If I were you, I’d look your children in the eyes, and I’d look your wife in the eyes, and you need to make a decision, but again I can’t promise you that I can save your job.” Crawford said he couldn’t apologize to Wayans, saying Wayans made his life miserable on the show.
Crawford says he decided to talk now because it’s important to him to get his side of the story out there. “The only reason I’m doing this is because every time — it’s August and any time they talk about the show, it’s my image, my f—ing name, to promote their goddamn show.”
Lethal Weapon returns for its third season with new series lead Seann William Scott in the role of Wesley Cole, on Tuesday, September 25, at 9/8c on Fox.