The Rookie has only existed for one season, but allegations of inappropriate behavior have caused one of their stars to throw in the towel. Afton Williamson—who has starred in shows including Nashville, Homeland, Shades of Blue, and A Gifted Man—has publicly announced that she won’t be returning to her role as police officer Talia Bishop on The Rookie. According to Afton, she experienced racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and was the target of inappropriate comments. She said that the executive producers of the show bullied her and in a lengthy Instagram message she detailed her experiences.
“During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star,Demetrius Grosse,and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept.Head, Sally Ciganovich escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party,” Afton wrote. “The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.Ciganovich 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. HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my Showrunner/EP and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims.”
She goes on to say that she was told Grosse would not be returning, only to find that they were working on scenes together in a later episode. ABC’s entertainment president Karey Burke responded to the allegations by saying, “I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more,” Burke said Monday. “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.”
One person who made sure to show their support for Afton was Angela Bassett who wrote to her, “I’m SO proud of you and stand COMPLETELY in support of you. Speak your truth and speak it LOUD! xoAB.”