One of the stars of an ABC drama series says she quit the show because of racial bullying and sexual harassment. Afton Williamson revealed the story behind her exit from “The Rookie,” which was originally reported as amicable, in an Instagram post.
Williamson posted a detailed explanation over the weekend, writing: “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.”
Williamson goes on to allege that the incidents, despite being reported to the showrunner/EP, were not reported to HR, and that the head of the hair department “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.”
News of the departure of Williamson, who played Talia Bishop on the show, was first reported July 26. The show’s second season is scheduled to premiere Sept. 29.
Both ABC and Entertainment One, which produces the show, have released statements about the situation.
A spokesperson for ABC 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.”
In a statement released Sunday, Entertainment One said: “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.”