Actor Lucas Till has revealed he considered suicide while working on the set of MacGyver. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Till details what life was like working for former showrunner Peter M. Lenkov, who was fired earlier in July by CBS for fostering toxic work environments.
"I've never worked this hard in my life, and I am fine with hard work," Till explained. "But the way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. 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 also spoke about the body shaming he endured, which he addressed in May to CBS' Human Resources department.
"There was always something about my appearance that wouldn't please him, like when I was in a hospital gown…. [Lenkov] said my legs were 'f—ing hideous' and we can never show them again," Till wrote. "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—ing God! Tuck his shirt in, he looks like a little f—ing boy!' 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."
A spokesperson for Lenkov refuted the X-Men alum's accusations, calling them "100 percent false and untrue." They added that the ousted showrunner "has championed him from the very beginning and has been nothing but supportive of him." Till was one of several people who spoke to the outlet about Lenkov, several of whom told similar stories.
The series starred Till as Angus "Mac" MacGyver, an undercover government agent who prefers to fight crime with impromptu engineering tactics instead of more conventional means. MacGyver was a reboot series from ABC series of the same name, which aired from 1985 to 1992. The new MacGyver premiered in September of 2016 on CBS and was renewed for Season 5 back in May. It also takes place in the same shared universe as two other series, Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum P.I., all of which were reboots. The trio of shows had collectively come to be known as the "Lenkov-verse."