‘The Rookie’ actress Afton Williamson will not return to the show in the fall because she claims she suffered sexual harassment and discrimination while filming the show’s first season.
Afton Williamson, an actress on the ABC drama ‘The Rookie,’ announced recently that she will not be returning to the show. Why? Well, according to her, she has been the victim of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. She made her announcement in a lengthy Instagram post earlier this week.
According to Williamson, while she was working on the ABC drama, “she experienced racial discrimination and racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department as well as from the drama’s executive producers starting with the pilot and continuing throughout the show’s first season.” On top of that, Williamson claims that even when she reported the harassment, her complaints were never passed along to the HR department. From there, the actress claims she experienced sexual assault “during the show’s wrap party.”
The actress shed further clarification on the alleged sexual assault on Monday in an Instagram post that said:
“This season on ‘The Rookie,’ I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was racially bullied and discriminated against and sexually assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich…One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE.”
It should be noted that Entertainment One, the main studio working on ‘The Rookie,’ “launched and has an ongoing investigation into Williamson’s claims.” However, it’s not yet clear whether that investigation began “before or after Williamson departed the show.” News of her departure made headlines back on July 26 and she made “the decision to not return for season two a few days before that.”
When commenting on Williamson’s allegations, a spokesperson for ABC said:
“The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One. In late June, eOne 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 also released a statement:
“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.”