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MacGyver Star Lucas Till Says Showrunner’s Abusive Behavior Made Him ‘Suicidal’

Photo: CBS

In a new report about the alleged history of abuse perpetrated by recently fired CBS showrunner Peter Lenkov, a lead on one of his shows, Lucas Till, said he had contemplated suicide during season one of MacGyver because of Lenkov’s behavior. In the Vanity Fair story, Till alleged he had frequently been on the receiving end of verbal abuse, bullying, and body shaming from Lenkov since landing the role in 2016. “I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and I am fine with hard work,” Till said. “But the way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. I was suicidal that first year on the show because of the way he made me feel. But the way he’s treated the people around me — that’s just my breaking point.” In 2017 and 2020, Till contacted the network’s human-resources department about his concerns. “I think they just took it as some crazy actor trying to get more money,” he said. “Essentially, they didn’t take it seriously.”

In one of his notes to HR, Till recalled an instance in which Lenkov disrupted a scene to complain about Till’s body. “There was always something about my appearance that wouldn’t please him … he said my legs were ‘fucking hideous’ and we can never show them again,” Till explained. “Just like the time he screamed at [a director], ‘Oh my fucking God! Tuck his shirt in, he looks like a little fucking boy.’ Just hire a 35-year-old, then. I’ve struggled with maintaining ‘man weight’ on the show because of the stress, no time to work out, and an unpredictable schedule for proper nourishment.”

In another note to HR, Till outlined how Lenkov had behaved in an “unprofessional manner” toward fellow MacGyver cast member Meredith Eaton. Till said Eaton had suffered an on-set injury that was “not dealt with properly.” During her recovery after hip-replacement surgery, Lenkov allegedly would “frantically email and call her insisting on knowing when she would be able to walk at a fast pace again.”

On July 7, CBS fired Lenkov as showrunner on MacGyver and Magnum P.I., and his overall deal with the network was terminated. The firing came after an investigation determined that he had created a toxic work environment on his shows, which previously included Hawaii Five-0. A lawyer for Lenkov said Till’s claims in Vanity Fair are “100 percent false and untrue,” adding that Lenkov “has championed him from the very beginning and has been nothing but supportive of him.”

MacGyver Star Lucas Till Says Showrunner Made Him ‘Suicidal’