'SMILF' Star Frankie Shaw Investigated for Misconduct

SMILF series creator and star Frankie Shaw was the subject this year of a now-completed investigation into alleged misconduct, Variety reports.

ABC Studios launched a probe into the 32-year-old actress's behavior after it was made aware of a complaint from Samara Weaving, who appears in the show's first and upcoming second seasons. A source told Variety that Weaving complained to co-star Rosie O'Donnell and a director about a nude sex scene in season 2.

While speaking with O'Donnell, Weaving, 26, reportedly said that she had been made uncomfortable by Shaw's behavior during production of a similar scene in season 1.

(Photo: Showtime)

O'Donnell reportedly passed Weaving's complaint on to an executive at Showtime, who spoke with compliance officials at ABC Studios and Showtime. As a result, a human resources investigation at ABC Studios was triggered and concluded that there had been no wrongdoing on Shaw's part.

However, Weaving was released from her contract at her request and is not expected to join the show for a potential third season.

The misconduct claim isn't the only one lodged against Shaw. On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter published a report accusing her of discriminatory behavior toward the show's African-American writers.

“I’ve dedicated my career to creating platforms for underrepresented voices — both in front of and behind the lens,” Shaw said in a statement. “That’s why I felt so strongly that at least half of my crew on SMILF needed to be female, that we should create an intersectional workplace in which more than a third of writers were women of color, and that it was important I have female shadow directors on set. I am proud of the accomplishments and that all but one of SMILF’s 18 episodes over the first two seasons were directed by women, because these are my values and priorities and I am grateful for the support and contributions of the SMILF team in helping me to realize them.”

She continued, “I work daily to create an environment in which everyone should feel safe, and in which I can continue to grow as a leader and manager. I am now and always have been open to hearing and addressing all concerns and issues that fall within my control. It pains me to learn that anyone felt uncomfortable on my set. I sincerely hope we can work together to resolve any and all issues, as I am committed to creating a workplace in which all people feel safe and heard.”


SMILF, which airs on Showtime and is produced by ABC Studios, is based on Shaw's Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film of the same name. Originally ordered to series at Showtime in May 2017, the eight-episode first season debuted on Nov. 8 of that year and was renewed for season 2 three weeks later. Filming for season 2 began in June; the new season is set to premiere in January.

Shaw stars, executive produces and serves as the show's showrunner.