Mills played Norma Arnold, the mother of Fred Savage and Jason Hervey’s characters on the drama, which ran from 1988 to 1993. In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Mills said a costume designer, Monique Long, brought a lawsuit against Savage and Hervey for physically and verbally harassing her on set.
“When we shot the series finale, nobody knew whether or not ‘The Wonder Years’ was going to be renewed,” Mills said in the interview. “That’s because of a completely ridiculous sexual harassment suit that was going on against Fred Savage who was like the least offensive, most wonderful, sweet human being that ever walked the face of the earth.”
People reported in 1993 that Long said Savage repeatedly told her, “Oh, Monique, I’m so in love with you. Please have an affair with me.” She also said he asked her out on dates and tried to hold her hand. The suit also said Hervey physically harassed her by grabbing her and feigning intercourse.
“It was such a joke,” said Mills, who referred to Savage as an “amazing kid.” She claimed a gag order was issued against the cast that prevented them from speaking about the issue.
“I wanted to scream on television, ‘This is ridiculous!'” Mills said.
Mills disagreed with how the network responded to the accusations. “They should never have paid her off,” she said. “You don’t pay someone off when there’s no crime. You just fire the girl.”
Mills also referenced women currently speaking out against men who have sexually harassed and assaulted them. “It’s a little bit like what’s happening now. Some innocent people can get caught up in this stuff. It’s very tricky.”
“When they’re true, awesome. Bring it out,” she said. But, she added, that isn’t always the case. “People would rather just let go of it than allow you your truth and your time in court.”