fred-willard-arrested-masturbation.jpgActor Fred Willard is disputing his arrest for lewd conduct on Wednesday (July 18) when cops slapped on the cuffs after he was found in a Hollywood movie theater with his pants down.

“With all due respect to the individual officer, our belief is that Fred did nothing in any violation of any law,” Willard’s lawyer Paul Takakjian tells TMZ.

The “Best in Show” actor was picked up in a police sweep in Hollywood’s Tiki Theater. When cops encountered him he allegedly had his pants down and his penis in his hand.

True or not, he’s already feeling the effects. On Thursday, PBS fired Willard from his gig as narrator of its new show “Market Warriors,” an “Antiques Roadshow” spinoff.

“Given the unfortunate news reported today, effective immediately, Fred Willard no longer will be involved with the ‘Market Warriors’ series,” a PBS spokesperson tells the New York Times.

Meanwhile, Internet reaction was mostly of the amused variety. Here’s a sampling of Twitter observations about the arrest.

“Bravo to Fred Willard for supporting movies when they’re still in theaters, and not waiting for them to hit the Internet.” — @BrianLynch

“I love Fred Willard. He’s a great guy. For his birthday I’m getting him a den and a computer.” — THE @AlbertBrooks

“Fred Willard has given the rest of us so much pleasure, why shouldn’t he give himself some?” — @FrankConniff

“‘American Wedding’ is still the worst thing Fred Willard’s done in a theater.” — @ChaseMit

Chase has a point.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson