Afton Williamson Quit The Rookie After Allegations of Sexual Harassment, Racial Bullying Went Largely Ignored

Rookie Williamson Harassment

Afton Williamson says that she quit her role on ABC’s The Rookie after complaints she made throughout Season 1 about racial bullying and sexual harassment went largely ignored.

As TVLine reported on July 26, Williamson is not returning for Season 2 of the procedural, where she played training officer Talia Bishop opposite Nathan Fillion’s title character. Now, in her first social media post since early May (embedded below), the actress alleges that starting with the pilot shoot in spring 2018 and throughout all of Season 1, she “experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department,” as well as sexual harassment from a recurring guest star.

She also alleges that the bullying from the hair department escalated into sexual assault at the Season 1 wrap party.

“HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my showrunner/EP [Alexi Hawley],” Williamson alleges in her Instagram post, “and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims.”

Williamson says the hair department head was fired only after the alleged instance of sexual assault, while the alleged sexual harassment by the recurring guest star, “though reported directly to the showrunner/EP [Alexi Hawley], remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.”

Despite being told that “everything was handled” following a June meeting that she called — involving showrunner Hawley, two other producers, her agent and a SAG-AFTRA union representative — “The investigation hadn’t even begun and Season 2 had already started filming,” Williamson claims. So, “I walked.”

TVLine on early Sunday morning reached out to both ABC and production studio eOne for comment. Showrunner Hawley previously told TVLine of Williamson’s most unexpected exit, “It’s not really my place to get into her personal decision.”

Bishop was a major character and significant presence during Season 1, begrudgingly taking under her wing Nathan Fillion’s John Nolan, a fortysomething rookie whose underperformance could very well stymie her career path. How will The Rookie fill this important void in its central TO/rookie relationship? As TVLine reported in June, the series is that role has since been cast with Lost alum Harold Perrineau.

With Fillion, as well as Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Titus Makin Jr., Melissa O’Neil and Eric Winter all set to return, The Rookie reports back for duty on Sept. 29, now airing Sundays at 10/9c.

Want more scoop on The Rookie, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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” ❤️🙏🏽

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