[Update: Lethal Weapon has indeed been renewed and Crawford has been replaced with Seann William Scott. More here.]
Unfortunate news for Lethal Weapon fans and fans of Clayne Crawford in particular. The actor has reportedly been let go from the Fox series after allegations of behind-the-scenes drama and bad behavior, which was supposedly putting the series at risk of cancellation. Crawford then released a detailed statement explaining and apologizing for both of the incidents, which seemed to suitably diminish the situation. However TV Line is now reporting that multiple sources have confirmed Crawford has been effectively fired from the series, and that if Lethal Weapon returns for a third season, he will be replaced.
Anyone who has watched the Lethal Weapon series, based of course on the movie franchise, will know that what made it work was Crawford’s portrayal of Martin Riggs. His interactions with Damon Wayans‘ Roger Murtaugh were both warm and wary, and Riggs’ devil-may-care rogue charm elevated the series beyond a typical procedural. Fans of the Sundance TV gem Rectify will have already known that Crawford is an exceptionally talented actor, one who made an unlikeable character one of the most emotionally compelling of the decade. His onscreen charisma, coupled with a rare ability to appear both tough and vulnerable, makes him one of TV’s best.
I obviously can’t speak to any knowledge of what Crawford is like on set, or what the truth is regarding the allegations about his behavior, but I will admit that I want to believe his side of things versus an overreactive studio (Crawford told our own Christina Radish last year that, “We’re a family and we love each other very much. If you don’t, it would make a terrible working environment.”) Regardless, it will be nigh impossible for the show to find a replacement that could carry the series like Crawford has, especially if they try to do something insanely corny like find a new Riggs.
Though there have not been any official statements from Fox, studio partner Warner Bros, or Crawford’s agent, the actor did post a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯-ish picture on Twitter followed by the comment, “Wait, wait, wait……you can’t fire me on my day off!”
Wait, wait, wait……you can’t fire me on my day off!
— Clayne Crawford (@ClayneCrawford) May 8, 2018
Lethal Weapon just ended its second season, so whether it continues or not is still in question but … without Crawford it probably shouldn’t.