Frankie Muniz recalls walking off “Malcolm in the Middle ”for 2 episodes

“Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful,” the former child actor said.

Frankie Muniz is reflecting on his time playing Malcolm in the middle of a tense work environment.

The former child actor is currently competing on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here — and in Monday’s episode, he shared a surprising anecdote about temporarily quitting Malcolm in the Middle. “Here’s a story no one knows, ready?” Muniz began. “There’s two episodes I’m not in, ‘cause I walked off the set.”

<p>Raymond Liu via Getty</p> Frankie Muniz

Raymond Liu via Getty

Frankie Muniz

Muniz said that he skipped two episodes of shooting in protest of certain crew members’ behavior on set. “Everyone was so afraid to stand up when certain people were controlling or rude or disrespectful, like they walked on pins and needles,” he explained. “I remember being so mortified by watching people afraid to stand up for themselves, kind of like, ‘Say something!’ I didn’t care if they told me I was never going back, because it was worth it to me, you know what I mean?”

Muniz’s I’m a Celebrity costar Candice Warner noted that Muniz’s stature as the lead actor of the series put him in a unique position to demand change on set.  “The show is based around you so they needed you, so you had that power —” she said.

“That helped,” Muniz confirmed. “That helped.”

<p>20th Century Fox/Everett</p> Frankie Muniz in 'Malcolm in the Middle'

20th Century Fox/Everett

Frankie Muniz in 'Malcolm in the Middle'

Muniz is credited in all 151 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, which ran for seven seasons on Fox between 2000 and 2006. However, eagle-eyed viewers online noted that he did not appear in any new footage in season four, episode 17 (“Clip Show #2) — instead, he only appeared via archive footage from previous episodes. It’s unclear which other episode did not feature Muniz on set, though if Muniz meant that he left production for two consecutively filming episodes, it’s likely that the other ep in question was from the latter half of season four.

Reps for Muniz and Fox did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

As a young actor, Muniz also appeared in films like Agent Cody Banks, Big Fat Liar, and Racing Stripes. He has worked less consistently on screen in recent years, though he has guest starred on series including Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, The Rookie, and New Amsterdam. He has, however, dedicated extensive time to racing for NASCAR.

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