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Fred Willard may have been caught with his pants down (literally), but Hollywood has the "Anchorman" star's back.
Several actors have come out in support of the 72-year-old Christopher Guest favourite, who was arrested Wednesday and charged with engaging in a "lewd act" at an adult movie theatre in Hollywood. The alleged incident led to Willard getting fired from the PBS show "Market Warriors."
"Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately Fred Willard will no longer be involved with the 'Market Warriors' series," PBS said yesterday in a statement to ABC News.
Though Willard told TMZ that the arrest "did not happen," several of his peers have spoken out in his defense on Twitter.
Martha Plimpton, who just yesterday scored an Emmy nomination for her guest role in "The Good Wife," chastised the network for firing Willard.
"Seriously, @PBS, re-hire @Fred_Willard," she tweeted. "Don't be ridiculous. The man is an icon. You're being silly."
Some joked about the fact that the septuagenarian was still getting intimate in a movie theater, what with Internet pornography being so widely available.
"I love Fred Willard. He's a great guy," tweeted actor Albert Brooks. "For his birthday I'm getting him a den and a computer."
Meanwhile, "Girls" star Lena Dunham wrote, "If I had the resources I'd build a theater where Fred Willard could do whatever the f--- he wants."
Others mocked the absurdity of the law.
"Pants or no pants, Fred Willard is a genius and a great guy. Besides, masturbating in porn theater is just good manners. Like belching in Japan," Canadian "Kids in the Hall" alum Dave Foley tweeted last night.
Harry Shearer, Willard's co-star in "Best in Show" and several other Guest movies, made a similar comment. "Not prejudging anything, but -- what are guys supposed to be doing in porn theaters, taking iPad notes on the cinematography?"
Comic Gilbert Gottfried chimed in this morning.
"Fred Willard arrested in porn theater," he tweeted. "If masturbation is a crime, I should be on Death Row."
But it was perhaps Roseanne Barr, who worked with the actor on her eponymous show, who put it best in an email to the Daily Beast.
"Fred is a great comic actor," she wrote. "Are we all under constant surveillance these days?"