SMILF Star/EP Frankie Shaw Addresses Allegations of On-Set Abuse

SMILF star and showrunner Frankie Shaw used a late-night appearance Wednesday as an opportunity to discuss an investigation into her behavior on the set of her Showtime comedy.

“I would say I’ve learned so much. There are so many lessons. I went from making short films in my basement to running a crew of over 215 people,” Shaw told Late Night host Seth Meyers. “There’s a lot of lessons along the way.”

In December, news spread that SMILF cast member Samara Weaving alleged that she’d shot a Season 2 sex scene on what she’d been told was a closed (aka essential personnel only) set, only to learn that Shaw had monitors turned on, allowing others on set to see what was being filmed. Weaving logged a formal complaint with Disney’s ABC Signature Studios, which produces the show, and SAG-AFTRA. Meanwhile, co-star Rosie O’Donnell reportedly also spoke to a Showtime executive and a SMILF producer about the “chaotic and troubled set” but later issued a statement of support for Shaw and the series.

Several SMILF staffers also reportedly complained to the Writers Guild of America, though informally, about black writers and white writers being placed in different rooms. (According to Shaw’s attorney Andrew Brettler, “There was never an intention or desire to group the writers based on gender, race or sexual orientation, nor was that ever consciously done by anyone.”) Additional complaints, also informal, were made about writing credits and pay for the show’s assistants.

“I’m right now thinking about a better structure for communication and how to delegate more and have a team around me,” Shaw told Meyers. “I’m thinking about how everyone can feel seen and heard, essentially.”

Shaw echoed sentiments she’d shared on Today earlier Wednesday, in a joint interview with O’Donnell. “It’s a beautiful set, I have to say. There’s a family feel on the set,” O’Donnell said.  “The great thing about Frankie is she addressed the stuff and the network did and everybody’s okay, and here we go.”