Fred Savage And FOX Deny Assault Claims Made By 'The Grinder' Costume Designer
Costume designer YoungJoo Hwang has filed a lawsuit against Fred Savage, alleging harassment, discrimination and assault and battery on the set of Fox's "The Grinder".
Fred Savage is the latest celebrity to face assault accusations after a costume designer filed a lawsuit against the actor on Wednesday.
YoungJoo Hwang, a former costume department employee who worked on the canceled Fox series "The Grinder" has filed a lawsuit accusing Savage of harassment, discrimination and assault and battery. Hwang alleges that Savage created a hostile worked environment and displayed aggressive and intimidating behavior on set, particularly towards women, according to CNN.
Hwang claims that one time Savage went so far as to "violently struck her arm three times with his hand" when she dusted dandruff off his jacket while the two were on set of The Grinder, which aired on Fox for one season in 2015. She reported this incident to her superiors. However, her lawsuit also named Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation because she alleges that the company allowed Savage's behavior to continue "unchecked," according to a press release from her attorney's office obtained by CNN.
"Mr Savage was aggressive towards me," Hwang said during a press conference on Wednesday, according to People. "He would routinely curse at me, yell at me, demean me when all I was trying to do my job. It became more and more stressful for me to go to work because I was scared of the abuse and what I would have to encounter on any given day. I’m not the only women on set that Mr. Savage target. There were others and this was well known on set."
20th Century Fox Television said in a statement that it takes "all allegations of improper conduct very seriously" and conducted a full investigation into the claims made by Hwang, according to CNN. However, the company found "found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage."
"We will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims," the statement read.
Meanwhile, Savage came to his own defense as well, claiming that he "fully participated" in the "extensive internal investigation" but that "none of her claims could be substantiated because they did not happen."
"I have been working in the entertainment industry my whole life and have always endeavored to treat everyone on any set I work on respectfully and professionally," Savage's statement, obtained by CNN and People, read. He also called the allegations "completely without merit and absolutely untrue."
In the statement, he also clarified his support for the #MeToo movement and his shock at being included in the conversation in a negative way.
"I have witnessed tremendous courage over these past few months, watching brave women who have come forward publicly fighting through the shame and stigma of harassment. I’ve seen first-hand the growing support in this movement that has always felt so lacking. As someone who has always tried to live honorably and with integrity, it never dawned on me that my name could be on the other side," the statement read.
Despite Savage's defense and 20th Century Fox Television standing by the actor, Anahita Sedaghatfar of the Cochran Firm, an attorney representing Hwang, said that the firm has corroborated the costume designer's account, according to CNN. Hwang claims that Savage "had it out for all women on set" and reiterated why she felt it was important for her to come forward at this time.
"It took everything in me to be here today," she said. "I was inspired by the MeToo movement and the women who came forward before me."
[Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images]