Afton Williamson: The Rookie Star Quits Due To Racism, Sexual Harassment

Afton Williamson has had enough.

The actress will be leaving ABC’s The Rookie, amid claims that she faced racial discrimination and sexual harassment while working on the show. 

Afton made the announcement yesterday while putting her executive producers on blast in a lengthy Instagram post.

“I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie,” Afton’s post begins.

Afton, as Officer Talia Bishop, co-starred alongside Nathan Fillion throughout Season 1 of the police drama.

She claims her mistreatment began as early as the original pilot.

“Throughout the filming of the pilot,” Afton writes, “I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers.”

She says the bullying continued throughout the season, along with “Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star.”

Afton made the legally shrewd decision not to be specific about the identity of her aggressors.

She also was not specific about the actions or language used against her, but obviously what happened is not okay.

Working alongside great actors on a major network television show should have been a great gig.

But no one at any job should have to put up with racist remarks or sexual harassment.

There are supposed to be systems in place to prevent and correct this kind of behavior.

In the corporate environment, this usually means taking your problems to the human resources department.

But Afton claims that though she reported the harassment to showrunner Alexi Hawley, he never even passed her complaints along.

“The Sexual Harassment though reported to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented,” Afton says.

She adds that the behavior “was not reported to HR as promised.”

Because of his inaction, Afton’s harassment continued throughout the first season.

Things reached their breaking point for Afton when the situation “escalated into Sexual Assault at our wrap party.”

Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Afton’s claims are finally being investigated by Entertainment One, the studio on production of The Rookie.

At this point, it isn’t clear whether the studio began the investigation before or after Afton’s decision to leave the show. 

Either way, it may be too little, too late to clean up this mess. For Afton, as well as the series, the damage is done. 

It seems like both Entertainment One and ABC are mostly focused on damage control right now.

They both want you to know that even though they let this happen and did nothing until a woman had to leave her job, that they’re taking this “very seriously.”

“We take claims of this nature very seriously,” said a statement released by Entertainment One.

The statement continues, “We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing, and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”

ABC released a similar statement, saying “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”

Just like Entertainment One, ABC is not quite ready to draw any conclusions or accept responsibility.

The story is definitely still developing, but we hope both studios actually follow through and do right by Afton.

We may even learn more today, once ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke meets with reporters at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.

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