Comic actor Fred Willard was arrested during a walk through of an adult movie theater in Hollywood by a police officer who spotted the 72 year old actor with his penis in his hand engaged in what appeared to be public masturbation. However, the lawyer for Willard claims that the actor broke no laws, which may be technically correct. Under California law, the actor had to be masturbating in public view of others, and there was only four other patrons in the mostly empty theater at the time, meaning that Willard likely had no intent to be viewed by others at the time, and had a reasonable expectation that his sexual act was meant to be private. This might seem like legal hair-splitting for what still seems like absolutely disgraceful public conduct, yet it might be enough to put Willard in the clear.
But, just like many in the public, PBS isn’t very entertained by Willard’s public masturbatory antics, and prom ply canceled his contract to narrate MARKET WARRIORS, a sort of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW related spin-off also produced by WGBH. But, ABC will continue to run TRUST US WITH YOUR LIFE, a show hosted by Willard, with several more episodes left to air. Summer is sort of a dumping ground for cheap shows, and ABC doesn’t mind recovering their production costs from this cheap Summer replacement even if the host is now a little bit controversial or meat-handed.
Fred Willard often does little comedy bits for Jay Leno’s TONIGHT SHOW, but it’s doubtful the two will want to shake hands after all of this.