The Rookie star Afton Williamson made some scathing accusations against a number of people involved with the ABC series. Afton, who portrayed the character Talia Bishop on the show, claimed that she experienced racial discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and was the target of inappropriate comments. She said that she reported her encounters to those in charge, including Human Resources, but nothing was done to correct any behaviors.
“During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star,Demetrius Grosse,and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept.Head, Sally Ciganovich escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party,” Afton wrote back in August. “The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.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. 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, it was announced that Afton quit the series because of her conflicts, and a formal investigation was launched by production to find out if there was any legitimacy behind her claims. On Tuesday, Variety shared an official statement by Entertainment One, also known as eOne, that stated they determined that nothing inappropriate occurred on set. The company shared that they used a third-party law firm to examine the evidence and investigate close to 400 hours of interviews.
“As a result of the independent investigation, we have concluded that those identified in Ms. Williamson’s allegations did not conduct themselves in an unlawful manner or demonstrate behavior inappropriate for the workplace,” eOne stated. “It was also concluded that the executive producers, including showrunner Alexi Hawley, addressed matters of which they were made aware promptly and in a fair and reasonable manner.”
They added, “We recognize and respect that as individuals, the lens through which we view situations, interactions and comments, can differ based on our experiences and perspectives. As such, we regret that Ms. Williamson’s time on the series was not a positive one for her, and we respect her decision to move on to other projects.”
A spokesperson for ABC also released a statement on behalf of the network. “We are glad that eOne has completed an investigation into allegations on the set of ‘The Rookie.’ We are confident that eOne takes these matters seriously and that they will continue to look for the best ways to surface concerns and address complaints.” The second season of The Rookie premieres on September 29.