WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- ‘The Rookie’ star Afton Williamson announced her departure from the ABC cop drama in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday.
- Williamson claimed experiencing repeated instances of racial discrimination and sexual harassment from the show’s hair department head, but her complaints were ignored by the showrunner.
- She also claimed that she was still required to film scenes with a recurring guest star even after she reported him for sexual harassment.
Actress Afton Williamson announced her departure from the ABC cop drama “The Rookie” in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday.
In her Instagram post, Williamson accused the show’s hair department head, Sally Ciganovich, of repeated instances of “Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments” and sexual harassment. She also claimed that the show’s executive producers bullied her on set.
She also remarked that she had reported the incidents to showrunner Alexi Hawley, but her complaints were not passed on to human resources. She said that Ciganovich was only fired after she suffered “sexual assault” at the show’s wrap party.
She also claimed that she was sexually harassed by recurring guest star, Demetrius Grosse. She said that even after filing complaints about his behavior, she was still required to film scenes with him.
Williamson wrote that “an investigation” was only started after she called in a meeting in June, which was prompted by the show’s announcement of a second season. She stated, “This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers.”
She continued, “After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that Grosse would be fired. […] This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him.”
An ABC spokesperson stated, “In late June, [Entertainment One] made us aware and informed us that they launched an investigation that is ongoing. The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”
Entertainment One’s own statement read, “We take claims of this nature very seriously. We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”
Meanwhile, Williamson claimed that “The investigation hadn’t even begun and Season 2 had already started filming.” So she decided to “turn it down and walk.” She will no longer be returning for the show’s second season.
Showrunner Hawley has not yet provided any comment.
You can read Williamson’s full Instagram post below.
View this post on Instagram
I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers. During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star,Demetrius Grosse,and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept.Head, Sally Ciganovich escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.Ciganovich was fired ONLY after the sexual assault and NOT for an entire year of outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behavior in and out of the Hair and Makeup trailer. HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my Showrunner/EP and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims. The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement. This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers. After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that Grosse would be fired. I was also asked to film with him the very next day as a courtesy to the script, even though we had not begun filming the episode yet. Grosse reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the Grosse had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved. I was asked to return this season, and promised that “everything was handled.” The investigation hadn’t even begun and Season 2 had already started filming. I turned it down and I walked. Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform so it’s time to use my Voice. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. “Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world” ❤️🙏🏽
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