We have bad news for fans of ABC‘s The Rookie.
Not only did one of the stars quit over the weekend, she’s burning the place down on the way out! And if she’s right about what’s been going on behind the scenes, she’s justified!
For those who haven’t seen, the dramedy is all about what happens when a 40-year-old (played by Nathan Fillion) decides to start over and become a rookie cop.
The show was renewed for a second season, but star Afton Williamson, who played Fillion’s training officer, will not be a part of it.
She took to Instagram on Sunday to make the announcement:
“I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth.”
“The Truth” with a capital T. Yeah, y’all better sit down and strap in. She began:
“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.”
Hold on, sexual assault?? What happened??
Afton doesn’t get specific nor does she name the “recurring guest star” she says sexually harassed her.
And apparently there’s no record of it either:
“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.”
Well, at least they were fired for the alleged assault, but yeah. Sounds like any of that other behavior should have been a fireable offense first. However, as Afton puts it, nothing that was supposed to happen in these situations did.
“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.”
The showrunner in question is Alexi Hawley, who was also one of two showrunners of the final season of Fillion’s previous show, Castle.
“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.”
Good for her. It sounds like she was being told one thing while another was really happening. Like she was being lied to and placated like a child.
Afton ended her tea-spilling announcement by saying:
“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’ ❤️”
Something tells us no one at the network is happy with Afton’s IG post.
The way she tells it, they were trying to sweep all of this under the rug — including not even filing reports on any of it.
An ABC spokesperson responded on Sunday afternoon, saying:
“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.”
eOne confirmed an investigation in their own statement:
“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.”
ABC President Karey Burke happened to have time scheduled with reporters already on Monday, as part of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour.
When asked about the allegations, she said:
“I don’t have a lot of answers. 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.
What do YOU think of Afton’s accusations??
Clearly she’s willing to quit a high-paying network TV gig over them!
[Image via ABC/YouTube.]