Afton Williamson, a series regular on ABC’s cop show The Rookie, has quit the show ahead of its second season, alleging the showrunners ignored her complaints about racism, bullying, and sexual harassment on set.
According to Deadline, Williamson, who portrayed training officer Talia Bishop, told executive producer/showrunner Alexi Hawley that she endured “racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments” from the head of the show’s hair department and sexual harassment from an unnamed recurring guest star. Williamson said in an Instagram post on Sunday that the hair department head was fired after a sexual assault at the show’s wrap party, but that her other complaints were ignored:
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.
Williamson also alleged that though she reported the aforementioned sexual harassment directly to Hawley, “HR protocol was never adhered to,” and that Hawley never relayed her reports to the other producers. She was also forced to do scenes with him, even after reporting harassment:
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.
Her full Instagram post is below:
Jezebel reached out to ABC for comment and will update if and when we hear back.