This past Sunday, actress Afton Williamson explained why she left ABC’s The Rookie even after it was renewed for a second season. The reasons Williamson is leaving include having to endure racist comments from the hair and makeup team and sexual harassment from a guest star.
Not only did Williamson have to survive in an unhealthy work environment, but the showrunners at The Rookie did little to improve things for her and broke a promise to cut the unnamed guest star from the show for Season 2. Instead, the showrunner did not inform the producers or HR about her concerns, was forced to read and film with the guest star and saw that he was returning for the second season. She explained it all in an Instagram post.
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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” ❤️🙏🏽
“I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie,” she began. 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 and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment One, the lead studio on The Rookie, launched an investigation into Williamson’s claims, but that hasn’t stopped her from wanting to leave the show.
“We take claims of this nature very seriously,” said Entertainment One in a statement. “We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”
The Rookie is about John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) who decides to become an officer on the LAPD in his mid-30s, making him the oldest rookie cop on the force. Season 2 will premier on ABC in late September.