UPDATED 8/5/19, 10:28 p.m. ET: In a post made to IG, Afton Williamson said that actor Demetrius Grosse sexually harassed her. Williamson went on to say crew member Sally Nicole Ciganovich sexually assaulted her and subjected her to racial discrimination.
Elsewhere in the post, Williamson thanked fans and supporters for the "outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support..."
See original story below.
Afton Williamson explained on Instagram Sunday, why she left ABC's The Rookie, where she played one of the show's main characters, Talia Bishop. In a lengthy message posted Sunday, Williamson revealed that she was subjected to racial discrimination by the hair department, and bullying from the show's executive producers dating as far back as filming of the pilot episode.
Williamson claims she was sexually harassed by a "recurring guest star," while the treatment she dealt with from the hair department escalated to sexual assault at the show's wrap party. She says the head of the hair department ended up being fired, but only after the sexual assault occurred, suggesting that the previous matters of "outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behavior" were being ignored and unaddressed.
Williamson says she reported the sexual harassment to showrunner Alexi Hawley, and it came to her attention that an investigation was never issued after a meeting in June with her agent, Hawley, two show producers, and a SAG-AFTRA Union Rep.
The sexual harassment matter was made worse when she was assured that the actor would be fired, only to be approached about filming with him the very next day "as a courtesy to the script." The guest star ended up reappearing on the call sheet at the end of the season, and she was even written into scenes with him.
Despite being asked to return for a second season after being reassured that "everything was handled," she decided to quit when she realized that Season 2 had already begun filming and an investigation wasn't even underway. Check out her post below.
ABC and eOne responded to Williamson's claim in an official 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,” an ABC spokesperson said. “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”
On Monday, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke shared her thoughts on the situation. "I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more," Burke said, according to Deadline. "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 determination based on what’s found."