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Hitting pause on game dev for an interesting case study

In recent news I saw the potential for an interesting case study, where we can use some game development techniques to unravel some of the smoke and mirrors behind the news in Hollywood.

As some of you may be aware there’s currently a bit of drama surrounding the firing of the actor Clayne Crawford following a series of disciplinary actions for berhaviour on the set of Fox TV’s Lethal Weapon, seemingly brought forward by co-star Damon Wayans, that alone wouldn’t really be that interesting but it’s the bizarre twitter rampage Damon Wayans went on following the official announcement of Clayne Crawford’s firing that really sparked my interest, in these tweets Damon sounded off on co-star Clayne Crawford with accusations of causing an unsafe workplace, taking pleasure in bringing women on set to tears, and causing an injury to occur during a on-screen shoot out where shrapnel from a special effect hit Damon Wayan’s head.

I’ll save my personal thoughts for the end, but for the time being let’s take a look at one of those tweets in particular.

We see from the tweet that Damon alleges that the atmosphere on set reached a point where someone from the cast and crew had created “Clayne Crawford is an emotional terrorist” stickers and as Damon puts it, “other people with posting in and around the lot”, you’ll not that Damon takes steps to distance himself from the action of posting these not once, but twice, first with “other people” and then with “not me!”, interestingly he also says “here’s another photo of”, suggesting that he had previously posted a different picture of these supposed stickers prior to this one, this is not the case and no other pictures were posted prior to this, either on twitter or instagram.

But let’s take it at face value, and not assume any wrong doing, while we cannot ascertain the person who was behind the posting, we can however verify if the claim that this was posted “in and around the lot” holds any water, by way of analyzing the scene.

Here’s a roughly recreated top down layout of the above picture, the purple area shows the cone of view, the blue area shows the area of the image obscured by the post, the area outside of either colored area represents the scene beyond the scope of the picture, intentionally kept minimal to reduce margin for error.

With this top down view we can see that we’re looking for a parking area that’s painted into a narrowing (triangular) zone along side a building, with an external staircase at the end, the markings on the road closest to the camera seemingly have been adjusted recently but both old and new are close enough to assume that we’re looking at a longer parking bay, potentially truck parking that runs around 45 degrees from the building side parking, armed with this we can pull up a map of the Warner Brothers Studios entire lot (not the tourist attraction but the actual studios lot).

In this map I’ve marked the only 4 locations on the entire Warner Brothers lot where the above layout even partially matches, so let’s investigate each one individually

Stage 29 outdoor parking (Spot 1)

As you can clearly see from the 3D shot, we have one of our requirements, truck parking bays at around 45 degrees to car parking bays, however we’re missing the windows on the buildings, the car parking bay doesn’t taper off and there are no external stairs, let’s move on to spot number 2..

Again, we have truck parking and some nearby car parking at 45 degrees, but nothing else is a match and even the parking layout itself is a stretch, no dice! on to spot 3.

Here we have truck parking at 45 degrees to car parking, but there is no building directly behind the car parking, nor do any of the car parking areas taper off, sorry no cigar this time either, on to spot 4.

This one while the closest to our analysis, fails too because the windows aren’t the same, there is no external staircase and the parking areas are swapped around (the one by the buildings supposed to be straight and the one by the camera angled), though we do see signs of adjusted white lines, they’re also adjusted in the wrong direction.

With the analysis done, and all parking areas on the entire Warner Brothers lot carefully examined, we can determine that the picture provided by Damon Wayans was definitely not taken within the grounds of the Warner Brothers lot, and just to be extra meticulous, we even went a step further and examined the area around the Warner brothers lot up to 1km in every direction and could not find a single area that matches the one given in the picture.

It seems pretty much assured that the location in the picture is much further afield than the Hollywood Warner Brothers lot, which then begs the question why anyone would bother to post the image that far out from the studio?, in addition why was the image shown under the pretense that it was the second such picture when it was not?, and more puzzling, if the claim that these were being posted all over the place in and around the lot, why, in the age of technology where everyone has a high resolution camera phone and internet connectivity linking them directly to a host of social media networks, is the only evidence of these supposed postings existing coming from one single source?

Surely if these claims were true and the cast and crew on set felt negatively enough about one of their shows stars that they’d go vigilante and risk their jobs to make such postings, it wouldn’t just be Damon showing these images and speaking badly of Clayne Crawford.

To be absolutely on point here, not only is nobody else coming forward to speak badly of Clayne (who is fired and no longer attached to the show), but instead, many actors both in the show and out of the show have come forward to sing Clayne’s praises, let’s see a few of these too.

First we have Michael Raymond-James, who played Chad Jackson in Lethal Weapon, offering his personal experiences and friendship with Clayne in defense of the accusations.

Next up with have James Moroshini, who played “Tyler Thatcher” in an episode of Lethal Weapon, interestingly he states that he’s aware defending Clayne may result in it becoming harder to find roles in Hollywood, and that, just as with Michael Raymond-James, he believes a character-assassination is happening.

[UPDATE 05/19/2018]

It appears the account for James Morosini was actually an imposter, the actual account posted the following to let people know that the previous account was not actually him.

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Next is Hilarie Burton, the actor who played “Palmer” in the Lethal Weapon show, offering her experience with Clayne and again, states that she feels defending him may get her in trouble too, you can read the full tweet here.

And now we have Andrew Joiner, father of Duncan Joiner, the kid who played Ben in Lethal Weapon offering his experiences with Clayne and how his son’s experiences with Clayne were extremely helpful for Duncan.

And now we have Teo Briones who played Ethan in Lethal Weapon, singing the praises for the entire crew but specifically singling out Clayne for making the experience extra special.

Here’s Jake Austin Walker, who plays both Jared Talbot along side Clayne Crawford in Rectify, and the role of Sam Stoller in the “Frankie Comes to Hollywood” episode of Lethal Weapon, vouching for Clayne’s worth ethic being one of the best in the business.

And now we have Drew Hall, Director for the 2015 film Convergence, giving glowing praise for Clayne and how he both pushed himself and Drew to give the best that they could give, and how well he treated the cast and crew.

And last but by no means least, Kurt Yaeger who played Billy Gottlieb in an episode of Lethal Weapon, singing Clayne’s praises, have you noticed a trend here at all?, every single one of these fellow actors are either directly related or indirectly related to the Lethal Weapon TV series and all of them are in support of Clayne Crawford, yet the *ONLY* person to come forward and say anything bad about him is Damon Wayans during a twitter meltdown.

Where’s the media on this? where’s journalism beyond taking Damon Wayans word as gospel and posting a thousand hit pieces all echoing the same un-researched narrative? why aren’t any outlets digging past the surface, why hasn’t anyone reached out to the supposed victims?, it’s all extremely concerning, just how many fellow actors need to come out in support to counter a SINGLE actors negative claims? how much weight are Warner Brothers and the media putting into Damon’s claims without actual investigation and verification?

There is also this account that has come out in defense of Clayne, while I have not included their tweets above because of the unverifiable nature, it’s worth noting that many of their tweets have been retweeted by Clayne Crawford himself, which suggest that the content of the tweets it relatively accurate.

This account has amongst other things defending Clayne, detailed a few things about life on set and how details such as the supposed poster we covered at the start of this article haven’t been seen by them around the lot, and that pretty much all of the accusations leveled at Clayne are made up or embellished, (such as hitting an actor in the face with a bottle of green tea, neglecting to mention that it was written in to the script and occurred as a result of the actor that was struck, failing to catch the bottle), and again, mirroring Clayne’s fellow actors in stating that many other people in the cast and crew are fearful of coming forward out of concern about potentially losing their jobs for doing so.

Personal opinion time

Take this with a grain of salt of course, but in my opinion, whatever drove the divide between Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford, be it Clayne’s noted intensity on set in getting the job done right, or some other reason, what is clear is that at some point in the last several months Damon decided that not only did he want Clayne out of Lethal Weapon, but out of Hollywood too, as evidenced by the excessive meltdown prior to deleting his account after Clayne’s departure and Season 3’s extension were set in stone.

Indeed the timing for the initial leak last month about the tension on set seemed concerning timed with the release of an episode directed specifically by Clayne Crawford, I’m not a betting man but If I was, I’d probably put my money on Damon’s twitter meltdown being the visual representation of his own frustrations over the past two years and shining a light on his own intent – After all, Clayne was already confirmed fired, what use would it be to further fan the flames by hurling accusations at his former Co-Star than for catharsis?

Indeed, in a now-deleted tweet, prior to the announcement of Clayne being fired and the show being extended for a third season, Damon even briefly came out in defense of Clayne, only to switch on him the moment the fruits of his labor were confirmed and he was home free (new season, without Clayne), where he felt he could let rip without consequence.

Personally, I feel the media and indeed Warner Brothers and FoxTV need to re-address the firing and conduct an actual investigation into matters because there’s clearly some malicious intent behind much of this.

To all you journalists out there hitting the go button on clickbaity “the real reason Clayne Crawford was fired” style articles which are all just rehashes of the twitter rampage Damon went on, let me ask you this, did you actually do any research into the topic?, did you actually contact anyone that could verify any of this?, did you see and choose to ignore all of the fellow Lethal Weapon actors coming forward in support of Clayne? or was the temptation to rehash the same one sided argument and generate some clicks too much of a draw for you?

Need I remind you that the same guy playing the victim card and saying “Clayne relished in making women cry”, is the same guy that not that long ago defended Bill Cosby and went as far as calling his alleged victims “Unrapeable”, “Bitches” and other such slurs, then had a hissy fit when people ran with the story of him saying it? wouldn’t that, even for a split second, give you enough of a reason to perhaps apply a little basic fact checking and verification before essentially playing accomplice to a potentially bogus character assassination?

Anyway, with that over, back to game dev!

You can read our updated coverage of this topic here.