'Fuller House' creator Jeff Franklin was fired in 2018 for discussing orgies at work and belittling female staff
New details have emerged from the investigation that got Jeff Franklin, the showrunner of 'Fuller House', fired from his own show last year. Warner Bros revealed the startling allegations against the showrunner amid his own claims that he was kicked off the show because an executive producer was trying to take advantage of the #MeToo movement.
The studio interviewed eight staffers with the show, a number of whom have claimed that Franklin ran a toxic writers' room in which he regularly made inappropriate comments toward women.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, one woman said that Franklin would frequently brag about the "orgies" that he has over the weekend. Another staffer said that Franklin had predicted that one of the women on his staff was "going to be pregnant next season" and that he wished "I could make all the women on my staff get hysterectomies".
He also allegedly told one staffer: "She's one nose job away from a good f**k about one of the underage girls." Two women have said that Franklin and his assistant requested that all the writers for the show come to his mansion and repeatedly reminded them to bring their bikinis.
Staffers have also alleged that Franklin expressed his preference for male writers and complained about the fact that he had to hire women directors for the show.
Franklin also allegedly described the female directors as "all the same" and apologized to his staff for not dating Jewish women.
He filed a new lawsuit against Bryan Behar, whom he had hired previously, in April this year, claiming that the executive producer had been plotting to get him fired from 'Fuller House'.
Franklin claimed that he was "resentful" of his success and that he was "motivated by a secret hatred" of him. Deadline reported that the lawsuit states: "Behar concocted a plan to compile unflattering and distasteful information about Franklin that was either fabricated or twisted versions of events and presented it first to the media and then to Warner Brothers in an effort to get Franklin thrown off Fuller House."
Franklin was fired from the show last year and also lost his production deal with the company. He said in a statement at that time: "I'm heartbroken to be leaving Fuller House. Creating and running Full House and Fuller House has been the greatest joy."
The show was renewed for a fourth season just one month after that with Behar and executive producer Steve Baldikoski named as the co-showrunners.
The disgraced showrunner has alleged in his suit that Behar has been "plotting a scheme" against him and that he kept a "little black book in which he would regularly write down" anything that Franklin "said or did that could possibly be twisted into something negative and unprofessional". The suit also alleged: "Behar took real encounters with Franklin and distorted them to create false narratives that painted Franklin as sexist and unprofessional."
Franklin also brought up the bikini incident in the suit and revealed that it was a "thank you" party he was going to host at his home for a writer. He claimed that he only offered to provide bathing suits to anyone who had wanted to use the pool in his home during the party. The former showrunner then claimed that Behar was hoping to take advantage of the #MeToo movement, which had taken hold of Hollywood late in 2017.
Silisha Platon, the Vice President of Warner Bros' Labor Relations, however, said that the company started their investigation into Franklin back in 2016. Platon said in a sworn declaration that was submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court that a complaint was first made about Franklin's behavior on-set. It was alleged then that he wasn't treating male and female writers on the show equally, and was allegedly giving pregnant female staffers a tough time when they requested time off for doctor appointments.
After the initial investigation, Franklin received verbal counseling on "appropriate, business-like behavior". A new complaint in November 2017 then alleged that Franklin had created a toxic environment in the Fuller House writers' room which prompted a second investigation to be launched. Even though Behar was interviewed during the investigation, Platon said that his testimony "was not a substantial factor" in the company's findings that Franklin had created a "toxic and inappropriate" place to work.
She added: "Mr. Behar's statements only corroborated some of the less serious statements made by the other witnesses about Jeff Franklin's workplace conduct." Behar claimed that he never spoke to the media about Franklin and that his statements to the production company were "not motivated by hatred or ill will" towards his boss.
His motion reads: "Behar has put forth incontrovertible evidence that his testimony in the investigation into Franklin's workplace behavior was not a substantial factor in the lead investigator's conclusion that there was sufficient evidence that Franklin had created a toxic and inappropriate work environment, and her recommendation to executives at Warner Bros that Franklin's contract should not be renewed. For this reason alone, Franklin's claim fails."
The show has seen quite a bit of controversy over the past year with star Lori Loughlin, who will not appear in the show's final season, being caught up in the college admissions scandal that took place earlier this year.