Afton Williamson recently told her fans that she won’t be returning to the ABC cop drama “The Rookie,” because she was the victim of racism and sexual harassment.
The actress posted an Instagram message on Sunday, then one day later she released names.
Williamson, who played Officer Talia Bishop on the show, said the racist treatment came from a hair department head, while the sexual harassment from a recurring guest star.
The actress also said she was bullied by executive producers, and at one point the hair person sexually harassed her as well.
“This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse,” she wrote in her second message about leaving the show. “I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment One, the studio behind the series, has launched an investigation and they reported the claims to ABC in June.
“We take claims of this nature very seriously,” a spokesperson for Entertainment One said on Sunday. “We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”
But Williamson said the claims weren’t made a priority, at least not by the showrunner Alexi Hawley when she first told him. Because he never properly documented her claims or reported it to human resources, according to her message.
“The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised,” wrote Williamson in Sunday’s Instagram post.
“Ciganovich 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,” she added. “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.”
Later in that message, Williamson said she was eventually told that Grosse would be fired but he never was. The actress then said she was asked to film with him again “as a courtesy to the script” and was also written in scenes with him later in the season.
“I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that Grosse had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved,” wrote Williamson. “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.”
Grosse hasn’t responded on either his Twitter or Instagram page to Williamson’s claims. The actress also thanked her fans and viewers of “The Rookie” for their support.