Happy Days actor, director, removes name from Asbury film project
WILMORE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Director Anson Williams, most famous for his portrayal of “Potsie” in the classic television series “Happy Days,” announced in a Facebook post that he was removing his name from an Asbury Film Department project he was involved with.
Williams’ post doesn’t pull any punches about his reasons for distancing himself from the film “Nazareth,” stating, “Never in my entire career have I been through such an unnecessary, negative, situation as the Asbury University Film School in Kentucky.”
Williams does not cite specific shortcomings in the school’s film program, but says, “the ineptitude…of the film school itself, its willingness to connect its students to a flawed product and then take advantage of others hard work to protect the school from itself, is just beyond comprehension.” He does speak positively of the students he worked with on the project, writing, “The students and cast that I worked with are outstanding and deserve to be recognized.”
The director claims he not only directed “Nazareth,” but that he also re-wrote and helped edit the film. He says that “It’s a film that the cast and students will be proud of, but in no way will I support a film school that, I feel, is detrimental to its students.”
Officials at Asbury University, however, say they were taken aback by Williams’ reaction to his experience with the school, pointing out his frequent media statements during filming that lauded the film program. A statement from Jim Owens, Dean of the School of Communication Arts, reads, “We, of course, are surprised that Mr. Williams’ reaction to Asbury … is to suddenly change his views on the entire process, the project and even the program itself.”
Owens says that Williams’ sudden about-face may have had to do with disagreements over financing of the film. Regardless, Owens says, “The ultimate goal of this project has always been education… and we succeeded with that goal this summer.”
In the meantime, “Nazareth” is locked into its final edit, and is now going through audio and color processes, and the school has a goal to finish the project by December.