“MacGyver” star Lucas Till says that showrunner Peter Lenkov’s abusive behavior on set led him to consider taking his own life.
In a new Vanity Fair article, 30 sources including Till recounted their experiences with the “Magnum P.I.” and “Hawaii Five-O” showrunner, who was fired by CBS earlier this month amid claims he created a toxic work environment.
“I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and I am fine with hard work,” Till, 29, told the magazine. “But the way Peter treats people is just unacceptable.”
Till, who plays the titular role on the series, continued, “I was suicidal that first year on the show, because of the way he made me feel. But the way he’s treated the people around me—that’s just my breaking point.”
Till claimed that he endured verbal abuse, bullying and body-shaming from Lenkov, 57, over the show’s four seasons. Lenkov’s attorney vehemently denied Till’s allegations to the magazine branding them “100 percent false and untrue.”
The actor also says when he attempted to tell CBS about Lenkov in 2017 and again this year, they dismissed him.
“I think they just took it as some crazy actor trying to get more money,” he said. “Essentially, they didn’t take it seriously.”
However, a source told the magazine that Till’s recent comments is what led to the investigation into Lenkov and his subsequent firing.
In an alleged email to H.R., Till wrote: “There was always something about my appearance that wouldn’t please him like when I was in a hospital gown and our producer…thought it was funny that [Lenkov] said my legs were ‘f–king hideous’ and we can never show them again. Honestly, I found some humor in that comment as well, but you can imagine if that was a more sensitive spot that he had hit, and often did.
“Just like the time he screamed at [a director] ‘Oh, my f–king God! Tuck his shirt in, he looks like a little f–king boy.’ Just hire a 35 year old then. I’ve struggled with maintaining ‘man weight’ on the show because of the stress, no time to work out, and an unpredictable schedule for proper nourishment.”
Lenkov was removed from his job July 7 following an internal investigation from CBS despite reportedly having a year left on his overall contract with the network.
“Now is the time to listen and I am listening,” he said in a statement at the time. “It’s difficult to hear that the working environment I ran was not the working environment my colleagues deserved, and for that, I am deeply sorry. I accept responsibility for what I am hearing and am committed to doing the work that is required to do better and be better.”