We started getting indications that there was something wrong on the set of Fox’s Lethal Weapon TV remake a few weeks ago, when an apparently months-long feud between stars Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans started breaking out onto social media. That bit of in-fighting—which included Wayans’ assertions that he’d gotten hurt doing a stunt on an episode that Crawford was directing—was resolved with some finality shortly afterward, when producer Warner Bros. announced that it was firing Crawford from the two-season series, replacing his Riggs with a new character being played by Seann William Scott.
Now, though, Variety has a fascinating look at just how petty and childish things on the show’s set got, posting the results of anonymous interviews with 31 people connected to the series and revealing tantrums, blow-ups, splits among the crew, and the various peace-keeping measures—including on-hand security guards to stop fights from breaking out—that producers have been attempting to get the show back on track over the last few months. The highlight is a snippy bit of vulgarity (viewable on Variety’s post) between Crawford and Wayans from shortly before things broke down for good, with the two men arguing, essentially, about which of them was a “pussy” who should suck the other’s dick. (Crawford gets in a viciously low blow about Wayans supposedly riding on his brothers’ coattails, too, just in case any part of this seemed like good-natured ribbing.)
To be clear, neither of the two stars come off terribly well here; Crawford is the more obvious problem, a hothead who clashed with occasional episode director Eric Laneuville (a long-time colleague of Wayans’), and screamed obscenities at a bunch of kids because the show’s producers failed to properly close off a set and they were making noise. (Variety has video of that one, too, if you’re in a double-tantrum mood.) But Wayans also comes off as deeply apathetic about his time on the series, refusing to do table reads with the rest of the cast or learn his lines. One anonymous staffer is quoted as saying that he frequently told crew members, “I wish this show was canceled, I hate this show, it feel like I’m in jail.”
In fact, if we might be so bold, it kind of feels like the show’s producers ran smack into the problem of casting actors who were a little too like the characters they were portraying. (Consider this your reminder, kids: Quasi-suicidal zeal and bone-deep weariness and contempt are only fun when fake fictional people do them!) The Variety piece goes so far as to suggest that the knock-on effects of the feud are still being felt on the show’s set; Lethal Weapon recently fired a bunch of below-the-line talent, and the repeated assumption is that was at least partly intended to clear out any “Crawford loyalists”—you know, like a king would have—still lurking in its ranks. But now the Armies of Wayans are ascendant and all is right with the Lethal Weapon world (at least, until the rebel forces of Scott can marshal their strength).