In a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, The Wonder Years star Alley Mills alleges that the hit ABC sitcom came to an end after six seasons in large part due to a sexual-harassment lawsuit filed against show stars Fred Savage and Jason Hervey. According to the actress, who played both actors’ onscreen mom Norma Arnold, the harassment allegations were lodged by a former Wonder Years employee. “When we shot the series finale, which was in Whittier, nobody knew whether or not The Wonder Years was going to be renewed,” Mills says. “That’s because of a completely ridiculous sexual-harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage, who is the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the Earth.”
As Yahoo! points out, costume designer Monique Long filed a sexual-harassment suit in 1993 alleging Savage and Hervey, who were 16 and 20 years old at the time, physically and verbally harassed her every day. According to the suit, Long allegedly attempted to bring up the harassment to producers to no avail, and was subsequently let go. “It was such a joke,” Mills says of Long’s claims. “It’s a little bit like what’s happening now. Some innocent people can get caught up in this stuff. It’s very tricky. It was so not true. It was my dresser, and I don’t care if she’s listening. I probably shouldn’t be telling this, but I don’t care because it was so long ago. It’s gotta be over now.”
Mills alleges the network declined to pursue a seventh season of The Wonder Years to avoid dealing with a potential scandal. The harassment lawsuit was eventually dropped after an “undisclosed out-of-court settlement was reached,” a move Mills says “really made me mad.” Says Mills, “You don’t pay someone off when there’s no crime. You just fire the girl.” In a statement given to Yahoo!, Long maintains the veracity of her claims. “To this day I stand by the truth in those documents,” she says.