ABC Boss on 'Rookie's Afton Williamson Harassment Claims: 'I Don't Have a Lot of Answers'
UPDATED (2:25 p.m. ET):
ABC President Karey Burke has now addressed the ongoing investigation into claims The Rookie's Afton Williamson made via social media Sunday.
"I don't have a lot of answers," Burke began her statement. "I learned alongside my colleagues at the end of June that there were allegations and that an investigation had been launched by eOne and I'm waiting for the results of that investigation."
This group means business.
"I can trust the investigation because its being done by an independent hired party. I'm hopeful that those results will be independent and trustworthy," Burke confirmed. "At that time those answers and conclusions will help guide [us] as to how to deal with the situation."
ORIGINAL STORY (10:30 a.m. ET):
"Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers," the actress wrote.
"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 actress played Talia Bishop in the first season of the ABC series.
Williamson did not name names in her post, but said she reported her complaints to the show's producers and no action was taken against the alleged offenders.
A representative for production company eOne told Deadline: "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."
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” ❤️🙏🏽
ABC Studios confirmed 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," ABC added.
By Karen Butler
Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.