Everywhere you look it seems like more and more big Hollywood bigwigs are being accused of inappropriate behavior, and now Fuller House showrunner Jeff Franklin is one of them. Warner Bros. has ousted Franklin from his position on the TV series and has declined to renew their production deal with the veteran producer.
Best known for his work on the original Full House, Hangin’ With Mister Cooper, and a short-lived sitcom based on the children’s book Stuart Little, Franklin built his career on family-friendly entertainment. His behavior behind the scenes was reportedly unfriendly, however, with several writers on the production team for Fuller House claiming that Franklin was verbally abusive towards them and frequently spoke in crude terms about his romantic life and personal relationships. Franklin was also accused of bringing women he was dating to the set and giving them bit parts on the show, in defiance of the usual studio protocol of making any decisions regarding roles on the series through a team of casting agents and other professionals.
Variety broke the story on these allegations and Warner Bros.’ official response to the charges. Stanton Larry Stein, a lawyer speaking on behalf of Jeff Franklin, has declined to comment on the report.
Franklin’s departure is apparently the result of a series of documented complaints over several years. One source reports that Warner Bros. executives were sent an anonymous letter detailing Franklin’s bad behavior over two years ago. The executives were warned that the uncomfortable atmosphere generated by Franklin was “a lawsuit waiting to happen.” It’s unknown if the investigation into Franklin started then, but a second internal investigation was confirmed by the studio. That one started after a run of more recent complaints about the showrunner’s inappropriate behavior.
It should be noted, however, that all of the charges against Franklin only allege inappropriate language. Franklin has not been accused of direct harassment or physical misconduct with any member of the production team or cast; nor has Franklin been charged with any crimes in criminal court.
It remains to be seen what effect Franklin’s removal might have on Fuller House. The series was renewed for a fourth season on Netflix last month and there is no indication that Netflix or Warner Bros. plans to cancel the series now. It’s worth noting that the original Full House continued on after Franklin left the series’ production team following the fifth season, so fans of the show presumably won’t have anything to worry about.
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