'The Rookie's Afton Williamson Says Unanswered Harassment Complaints Led Her to Quit

Meaghan Darwish
ABC/Ed Herrera

UPDATE (8/5/2019):

ABC and The Rookie's production company eOne have now responded to Afton Williamson's claims and are pursuing further action.

"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," a eOne spokesperson said.

Read more over here!

Original Story (8/4/2019):

ABC's The Rookie will be down one badge come fall as star Afton Williamson has officially quit the series.

It was first revealed by TVLine at the end of July that the actress who portrayed Talia Bishop alongside series star Nathan Fillion in the drama wouldn't return, but the reasoning behind the decision was never made public, until now. Williamson has taken to social media to clear things up about her exit and it isn't a tale of amicable parting of ways.

In a lengthy statement shared on Instagram alongside a drawing of her character, Williamson paints a picture of a toxic on-set environment in which she allegedly experienced racial and sexual harassment, as well as sexual assault. According to the actress, she quit the show when her many complaints throughout the show's Season 1 run went unanswered.

"I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie," Williamson's message began. "I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. 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," she continued. "The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised"

As Williamson's statement continued, she shared that after Season 2 was announced, she called for a meeting to discuss the matters at hand. Despite her complaints, Williamson claims the showrunner never passed along her complaints to the other producers. Also, after being told that the actor she accused of sexual harassment would be fired, she was written into scenes with them.

"This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved," she wrote. "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."

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Considering all that had transpired, Williamson concluded her social media statement with a promise to use her platform. "I turned it down and I walked," said Williamson. "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.'"

See the full statement in her Instagram post below:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. 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.The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised. The Hair Dept. Head 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. The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement. This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers. After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that the actor would be fired. I was also asked to film with him the very next day as a courtesy to the script, even though we had not begun filming the episode yet. This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved. 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. 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” ❤️🙏🏽

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

The Rookie, Season 2, Fall 2019, Sundays, 10/9c, ABC