New 'Lethal Weapon' Set Footage Captures Nasty Confrontation Between Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford
By Leena Tailor
Video footage from the set of the TV series Lethal Weapon has shed new light on the apparent conflict between lead actor Damon Wayans and former co-star Clayne Crawford.
The actors portrayed police buddies Roger Murtaugh (Wayans) and Martin Riggs (Crawford) for two seasons of the Fox show, but in May, Crawford was released from his role after twice being reprimanded for his behavior on set.
According to Variety, the conflict started brewing in August, during episodes of the second season that were directed by Eric Laneuville. The outlet reports that Crawford became particularly “frustrated” while shooting at a public pool in Los Angeles, California, in October, partly due to children at the pool -- which was supposed to be closed to the public -- creating background noise.
“Shut the f**k up!” Crawford is heard yelling in a video obtained by Variety. “Goddamnit, Newman, f**king they’re right here! Get somebody in here with a f**king walkie and shut ’em the f**k up! Or did we not pay for this f**king place? If we did, shut ’em the f**k up!”
Following the outburst, Laneuville reportedly left the production and Crawford agreed to undergo counselling.
However, in March, tension is said to have erupted following an episode directed by Crawford, during which Wayans was struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel during a scene involving an explosion.
“Wayans said he was fine,” a crew member said, noting that he refused medical attention at the time.
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But further footage shows that the incident caused a blowup the following day, with Crawford telling Wayans, “I’ve seen [name deleted] handle hits better than you did yesterday,” to which Wayans replied, “Suck my d**k.”
“That was the biggest p***y move I think I’ve ever seen,” Crawford continued. “You’re the biggest crybaby p***y I’ve ever met in my life.”
“Well, suck this p***y’s d**k,” Wayans responded, before Crawford asked, “How does it feel to only be in the game because your f**king brothers are in the game?”
Multiple crew members rejected the claim that Crawford purposely struck Henriksen.
Crawford addressed his actions in a statement posted on Instagram before he was let go from the series.
“The second reprimand came during an episode I was directing," he wrote, appearing to reference the explosion scene mentioned by Wayans. "An actor on set felt unsafe because a piece of shrapnel from an effect hit him. It was an unfortunate event that happened in spite of all safety precautions and procedures being followed. I take responsibility for the incident because I was in charge of the set.”
"I am incredibly sorry if my passion for doing good work has ever made anyone feel less than comfortable on our set, or feel less than celebrated for their efforts," he added. “I take great pride in treating everyone in life with dignity and kindness.”
However, Variety reportedly spoke to sources on set and obtained internal memos which painted different images of Wayans and Crawford on set.
Some described Wayans as “funny and charming,” while another claimed that he “literally tells everyone that he hates what he does every day.”
As for Crawford, sources reportedly described him as both a “dedicated actor [who] cared about the show and was prepared,” as well as someone who “had a bad temperament.”
Seann William Scott has since been cast as the new co-lead of the series -- which is based on the hit Lethal Weapon film franchise starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover -- though he will reportedly be playing a different character.