With the third season of Lethal Weapon set to premiere on Tuesday, September 25, Fox is hoping for a fresh start for the series as new lead Seann William Scott's Wesley Cole replaces Clayne Crawford's Martin Riggs when the series returns. The series adaptation of the successful film franchise has spent most of its pre-season dealing with the fallout from Crawford's firing, which the network states came after a number of incidents of abusive on-set behavior.
If Fox thought that was going to be the end of it, then Crawford popped that "hope bubble" for them during Tuesday's edition of the Drinkin' Bros. podcast. Admitting to host Ross Patterson that he ignored the first wave of allegations because he assumed they would "blow over," Crawford used his interview time to explain why he's speaking out now and to offer his perspective on two on-set incidents:
● Crawford felt that since people are still associating him with the show, it was important for him to make his side on the matter was publicly known:
"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."
● On the released tape where he's heard shouting "Shut the f**k up" to the assistant director over some on-set noise issues:
"I knew that they had those tapes, and they had been blackmailing me with that… anytime I had a problem with [Damon Wayans]. 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."
● On the allegation that he yelled at children at a nearby pool duirng that same day of filming, Crawford called it a "blatant f—king lie" and added:
"Clearly I'm yelling at the guy whose job it is to get the set quiet, 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."
● While Crawford admits he could've responded differently, he also appears to blame a "very sensitive" Hollywood and the "very delicate flowers" there for his current situation:
"I snapped. 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 claims that he never received an official call from Warner Bros to let him know that he was fired, learning the news from social media and entertainment news sites. He then relayed his last conversation with studio president Peter Roth after the on-set allegations first surfaced:
"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,' 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."