When FOX Broadcasting Company developed the TV drama Lethal Weapon, executives expected the interpersonal drama to take place in front of the camera. By the end of the show's second season, however, behind-the-scenes turmoil left the studio with two choices: cancel the series or drastically overhaul the production. Lethal Weapon stars Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans clashed on the set and social media, while rumors started spreading about factions forming amongst the crew.
After Lethal Weapon's renewal for Season 3, the network removed Crawford from the cast, and anonymous crew members began opening up to news outlets. As the TV show drama heated to a boil, Lethal Weapon became as interesting behind the scenes as when cameras were rolling.
The animosity on Lethal Weapon's set grew so bad that the two stars sniped at each other until seconds before filming. Variety received a recording from one exchange where Crawford called Wayans "the biggest crybaby p*ssy I’ve ever met in my life." Wayans responded, "Well suck this p*ssy's d*ck."
According to Variety, the argument involved a failed stunt the previous day that left Wayans injured. Crawford continued needling Wayans by asking the actor how it felt to "only be in the game" because of his brothers. After finishing the scene, Wayans told a producer he couldn't film the next part, so his stunt double filled in for the remainder of the shoot.
You may not know Eric Laneuville by name, but you've seen his work on shows like Lost and Black Lightning. A television director with a decades-long career, Laneuville's reputation paints him as a total professional. While filming an episode of Lethal Weapon, however, he got into such a heated debate with star Clayne Crawford about shooting a car crash that he quit.
One crew member told Variety, "When it came to this next scene, he just metaphorically threw up his hands and let Clayne and the stunt coordinator deal with the whole scene. That’s basically how the remainder of the scene was shot." The next day, Laneuville resigned and Matt Barber, the show's editor, stepped in and finished directing. Warner Bros. fined Crawford $40,000 for the incident, which compensated Barber for the extra work.
The breaking point for the two stars came during an episode late in Season 2 directed by Clayne Crawford. During a scene featuring a large explosion, a piece of shrapnel hit Damon Wayans in the head, leaving a minor cut. Although Wayans initially took it in stride, he returned the next day and allegedly threatened to fire the special effects crew over the incident.
One crew member recalled Wayans's assistant filming playback of the scene on their phone, which later ended up in a now-deleted tweet. In the aftermath of the drama, Wayans deleted his Twitter account.
Crazy allegations about Lethal Weapon came out during Variety's exposé, with Damon Wayans's eating habits sticking out the most. An internal memo made its way to Variety and broke down Wayans's unusual food schedule.
The memo read, "DAMON MUST BE GIVEN FOOD EVERY 2.5 hours. Even if he’s in the middle of a scene, or doesn’t want it at the moment, please make sure he’s aware that the food is there for him, and where the food will be." A further memo explained that Wayans also required a nap after lunch.