ABC/Ed Herrera(LOS ANGELES)
— Afton Williamson, who stars in the ABC drama The Rookie, says she won’t be returning to the show, citing alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday, the 34-year-old actress claims that throughout the filming of the show’s pilot, she “experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department.”
Williamson further alleges the treatment worsened when she was sexually harassed by a recurring guest star, bullied by executive producers and sexually assaulted by a crew member at a wrap party.
Later Sunday, the studios behind the cop drama, Entertainment One and ABC Studios, issued separate statements, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One,” ABC Studios said. “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, in its statement, said, “We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing and as such, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time,”
Williamson, who is African American, also claims she filed reports on the incidents with showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley, who is white, but they weren’t seriously investigated by the network or shared by Hawley with other producers.
“After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that the actor would be fired,” said Williamson of the unnamed guest star. “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.”
Williamson goes on to say the actor wasn’t fired and that “I was even written in scenes with him.” She further claims after learning from “the Showrunner” that “the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved,” she was asked to return for season two. “I turned it down and I walked,” writes Williamson.
Williamson played training officer Talia Bishop in The Rookie, opposite Nathan Fillion’s John Nolan. The show is slated to return for its second season September 29.
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