Damon Wayans has shocked fans by announcing that he’s leaving Lethal Weapon.
At the end of this year, the 58-year-old actor, who stars as Roger Murtaugh, is saying goodbye to the Fox drama series.
“Well, this is more of an announcement, but I’m going to be quitting the show in December after we finish the initial 13 [episodes]. So I really don’t know what they’re planning, but that’s what I’m planning,” Wayans said in a video interview with EurWeb.com when asked what audiences can look forward to with season 3.
“I’m a 58-year-old diabetic and I’m working 16-hour days,” he explained. “Too old for this.”
PEOPLE is out to Wayans’ rep. Fox is not commenting.
The announcement comes months after his former costar Clayne Crawford was fired from the show following both an outburst on set and allegedly contentious working relationship with Wayans. Crawford has since been replaced by Seann William Scott.
In the EurWeb.com interview, Wayans admitted that his long hours on set have prevented him from spending time with family.
“This has been very hard. Especially last week, my mother had surgery, my daughter had surgery, and I had to look them both in the eye and go: ‘I can’t be there.’ So it’s hard for me to play this loving, supportive father, husband, friend on TV and be the guy in life that’s telling everybody, ‘I can’t, I gotta work,’ ” he said.
He said he’s giving the show “enough time to find a replacement.”
“This is going until Dec. 21 or 22 or something like that, so it’s non-stop until then,” Wayans said of filming Lethal Weapon.
Wayans advised other people struggling to balance their professional and personal lives to “look yourself in the eye and go, ‘Who are you?’ And it can’t all be about work.”
“I’m from a big family, a loving family, and I haven’t seen them. All the family gatherings, I’m too tired or I can’t because it conflicts with work. My grandkids, seven grandkids — I’ve been missing recitals and graduations and to me, it’s not worth it,” Wayans said. “There’s a better way to live life.”
As for what’s next, he’s planning to go back to theater in 2019.
“I’m going to return to the stage,” he shared, “and try to find my smile again.”
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