ABC’s ‘The Rookie’ will look different in its sophomore season after one of its lead actors decides to leave the show. Afton Williamson who played the training officer Talia Bishop is quitting after she claims that her racial discrimination and sexual assault claims went unresolved.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Williamson took to instagram to let fans know that she would not be returning to the show for season 2 and giving a detailed reason why she was stepping away. Williamson did not mention any specific names when addressing the situation.
“Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers,” Williamson wrote on the social media site. “During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.”
Williamson said in the post that she reported her claims and was mislead when told that one of the actors who engaged in these acts was not fired and was even written into scenes with Williamson. Other alleged offenders included producers. The harassment the actor experienced started she said since the pilot episode and only resulted in one firing that she claims took a year for it to happen.
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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” ❤️🙏🏽
Williamson’s co-star and famed actor Angela Bassett came out in support of Williamson on the same post. “I’m SO proud of you and stand COMPLETELY in support of you. Speak your truth and speak it LOUD,” Bassett wrote on the post.
According to the NBC news report, a spokesperson at ABC said that Williamson’s complaint was to be handled by the production company EntertainmentOne. The production company gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying that the investigation was ongoing.
“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,” Williamson said in the social media post. “Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. “Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world”