After Jason Mitchell was axed from a series of current projects in rapid succession over allegations of misconduct, more alleged details have emerged specifically surrounding his termination from “The Chi.”
Actress Tiffany Boone and second-season showrunner and executive producer Ayanna Floyd are among women who have filed complaints against Mitchell with the HR department of the Showtime series, sources alleged to The Hollywood Reporter. Still, Mitchell’s conduct — which has yet to be explicitly detailed — continued and it led Boone to request to be let go from the show.
Regardless, sources claim the actor, who shot to fame in “Straight Outta Compton” was set to stay on board for season 3. This even though creator, producer and sometime writer Lena Waithe being adamantly supportive of the Time’s Up movement.
“I’ve been very involved in Time’s Up and that movement, and for season two, we’re making sure that women feel safe,” she said to THR last year. “[I]f you want to play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on set with an actress or anyone, I’ll happily call Showtime and say, ‘This person has to go,’ and you will get shot up and it’ll be a wonderful finale.”
But Mitchell, who plays a chef striving to rise above violence, remained on the series, even though a Waithe source claimed she was only made aware of Mitchell’s alleged harassment once season 1 concluded. However, the insider adds that worries over his on-set actions were some of the reasons why Waithe pushed for a Black woman to become the second season’s showrunner. Still, the same source said at first that Waithe was not aware that Mitchell’s alleged conduct persisted.
Boone, who plays Mitchell’s “The Chi” character’s girlfriend, filed a complaint with HR after work on season 1 ended. A source previously told THR Boone made repeated complaints of sexual harassment. She was allegedly feeling so unsafe with her co-star that at times, she had her fiancé, actor Marque Richardson, on set when Boone had to shoot with Mitchell.
An insider said Boone got so fed up she wound up telling Fox 21 producers, who are behind the Showtime drama, that she could no longer work on the show. However, after initially deciding to terminate her and keep Mitchell, it was Mitchell who was ultimately let go.
As for Floyd, she issued a statement to THR taking aim at Waithe.
“When I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it,” Floyd said. “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”
“As showrunner, I did everything I could to deal with his behavior, by speaking with the studio’s HR department multiple times and instructing one actress to call HR herself, before I became a target of his rage and inappropriateness, and had to report him to HR, as well,” she added.
Floyd is not set to come back to work on the show.
In response to her remarks, however, the Waithe insider said Floyd notified her about the continued conduct but noted that she would deal with it. In Waithe’s direct response to the matter, she focused her attention on Boone saying in part that she “is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman. I wish her nothing but success in the future.”
The news follows Mitchell initially being fired from the Netflix film “Desperados.” Women on the set of that series had complaints about the star as well.
“There were two incidents in four days,” a source said to the movie and TV industry website. Reportedly, Netflix conducted a “quick but thorough” investigation via phone, and the producers were given the go-ahead to make the call they saw fit. A separate source claimed that the streaming giant decided to fire Mitchell and fill his role by Lamorne Morris.
In addition to losing “The Chi,” Mitchell was also promptly dropped by his management and agency.