Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct allegations that some readers may find upsetting.
The Rookiestar Afton Williamson has confirmed that she will not be returning for the show’s second season, claiming that she faced sexual harassment and racism on set.
The actress, who played Talia Bishop alongsideNathan Fillion’s John Nolanin the first season of the ABC cop drama, took to Instagram on Sunday (August 4) to announce the news.
“I will not be returning for Season 2 ofThe Rookie.I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the truth,”she wrote.
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“Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from executive producers,” she continued.
“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.”
Williamson went on to say that while the sexual harassment was reported directly to the showrunner and executive producer, it remained “undocumented and was not reported to human resources as promised”.
She also added that the head of the hair department was only fired after the sexual assault and not for an “entire year of outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behaviour in and out of the hair and makeup trailer”.
Williamson also said that, although she was assured the actor who allegedly harassed her would be fired, she was later written into more scenes with him and the showrunner admitted that the actor hadn’t been fired or reported to HR.
“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,” she said.
“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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Production studio eOne has issued a statement about the allegations, saying (viaTVLine):“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.”
Network ABC also added: “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.”
Meanwhile, when asked about the allegations at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Monday, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said (viaVariety): “I don’t have a lot of answers. I wish I had more.
“I learned alongside my colleagues at the end of June that there were allegations and that an investigation had been launched by eOne.”
The Rookieairs on ABC in the US.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information ontheir websiteor by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999.Rape Crisis Scotland’shelpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contactRAINN,or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.