With Lengthy Social Media Post, Actress Quits Primetime Series Claiming Harassment Allegations Not Taken Seriously
On Sunday, actress Afton Williamson posted a message on her Instagram account saying that she wouldn’t be returning to the ABC series The Rookie for a second season.
She mentioned that she owed it to her “amazing fans to share the Truth.”
Williamson went on to say, in a lengthy post, that she had experienced, “racial discrimination and racially charged comments from the hair department and bullying from the Executive Producers,” during the filming of the pilot.
During the season, says Williamson, these actions continued throughout filming, along with sexual harassment from a recurring guest star and that, “the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Department Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.”
She further offered a timeline of events that included meeting with the Showrunner, her agent, and SAG-AFTRA.
On the series, a dramedy set within the Los Angeles Police Department, Williamson had a lead role as the partner of the main character, played by Nathan Fillion. The showrunner is Alexi Hawley.
Before the start of filming season two, Williamson was asked to return to the show, and was promised that “everything was handled.”
She decided to walk away from the role, stating in her post, “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.”
Shortly after the post appeared, an ABC spokesperson said in a statement, “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.”
eOne also put out a statement last Sunday afternoon that read, “”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.”
On Monday, ABC President Karey Burke, speaking at the Television Critics Association bi-annual meeting, when questioned about the allegations, responded with, “I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more,”
She added. “I heard at the end of June that there were allegations, and an investigation has been launched. We are waiting for answers. As soon as we learn more, we will make a determination based on what’s found.”
Burke also said that she hopes that the independent investigation initiated by eOne would culminate in “results that are independent and trustworthy.”
Her response about the matter concluded with Burke saying that she believes the results of the investigation, “will guide the network on how to handle any similar situations going forward.”