Fred Savage Was 'Quick to Anger' While Directing on TV Show Sets: Sources

After being fired from executive producing and directing ABC's The Wonder Years reboot, a source tells PEOPLE that Fred Savage "can have a temper and occasional outbursts"

Fred Savage on The Conners
Photo: Eric McCandless via Getty

Fred Savage's approach behind the camera was difficult on his crew, two production veterans who worked alongside Savage tell PEOPLE.

The 45-year-old actor turned director made headlines last week for being fired from executive producing and directing ABC's The Wonder Years reboot. He had faced allegations of misconduct on the show's set.

According to the insider, Savage is "quick to anger." Part of his process includes overshooting, a common practice in the industry but one that the source explains only makes things harder on the crew.

"He works his crews pretty hard by always doing more takes than necessary," the insider says. "Some directors just overshoot. Sometimes they feel like they didn't get the performance or want to try another angle or things like that. He overshoots and the days are longer, therefore giving more opportunities to snap at people."

A second source adds that Savage "can have a temper and occasional outbursts."

Savage's reps have not returned PEOPLE's previous request for comment. He has also not made any comment on his exit from The Wonder Years reboot.

"He hasn't seemed stressed," a third source tells PEOPLE, adding that the star spent the weekend with his wife Jennifer Lynn at their West L.A. home. "He seems pretty relaxed and enjoying some time off."

Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU/Getty

As a child, Savage became a household name for roles in The Princess Bride, The Wizard, and the original Wonder Years series, where he played the lead Kevin Arnold from 1988 to 1993. He began producing and directing television projects in the late 90s, and for years has balanced acting roles in shows like Working, The Grinder and Friends From College with directing work for sitcoms like Modern Family, Black-ish, Party Down and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

On May 6, a 20th Television spokesperson confirmed to PEOPLE Savage had been fired from executive producing and directing ABC's The Wonder Years reboot.

"Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of The Wonder Years."

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Savage has faced other on-set behavioral allegations in the past.

In 2018, his Wonder Years TV mom Alley Mills claimed that a sexual harassment lawsuit against Savage and costar Jason Hervey ended the series in 1993. Vanity Fair reported that Savage and Hervey, 50, were sued by costume designer Monique Long, who said their alleged verbal and physical harassment made it challenging for her to do her job and resulted in her firing.

The legal matter was eventually settled and dropped.

That same year, a judge dismissed a gender-based lawsuit against Savage from another costume designer, named Youngjoo Hwang. She claimed Savage created an uncomfortable work environment on The Grinder, but The Hollywood Reporter stated that the actor has denied such allegations.

Updated by
Lanae Brody
Lanae Brody Author Bio

Senior Reporter Emerging Content, PEOPLE

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