Fred Willard Dropped from PBS Show After Arrest

By Jennifer Abbey

Jul 19, 2012 5:40pm
ap fred willard jef 120719 wblog Fred Willard Dropped from PBS Show After Arrest

                                                                                                              (Matt Sayles/AP Photo)

Actor Fred Willard has been dropped from the PBS show “Market Warriors” after his arrest in Hollywood Wednesday evening.  Los Angeles police said they picked him up at an adult theater, performing what was described as a lewd act.

“Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately Fred Willard will no longer be involved with the “Market Warriors” series,” said Jeanne Hopkins of WGBH, the PBS station that produces the show, in a statement to ABC News.

Mark Walberg, who hosts “Antiques Roadshow,” will be now be the voice on Willard’s episodes, Hopkins said.

The decision to drop Willard came less than a day after the arrest. Willard has not been tried or convicted of an offense.

“It’s something we felt was important to decide, and given the trust of our audiences, we wanted to move forward,” Hopkins said.

Hollywood vice officers were conducting a routine inspection at an adult theater shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday when they found the “Anchorman” star engaged in a lewd act, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Willard was arrested and taken to Hollywood station where he was booked and released.

“With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief is that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law.  We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter,” Willard’s lawyer, Paul Takakjian, said in a statement to ABCNews.com.

Willard is known for his role as the announcer in the film “Best in Show.”

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