On Jason Mitchell Firing, ‘The Chi’ Creator Lena Waithe Wishes She’d Done More

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Jason Mitchell, the young actor known for his acclaimed turns in Straight Outta Compton and Mudbound, was abruptly fired earlier this month from both his Showtime show The Chi and the Netflix movie Desperados. He was also dropped by both his agency and his management company. In the ensuing weeks, it became clear that Mitchell had been accused of inappropriate behavior by one co-star, Tiffany Boone, and other inappropriate behavior by others.

Earlier this week, per The Inquisitr, the showrunner for The Chi in its second season, Ayanna Floyd, revealed in an interview that she had herself reported Mitchell to human resources. And Floyd also revealed that the show’s creator, Lena Waithe, had been made aware of Mitchell’s behavior after the show’s first season but did not drop him from the show, despite Waithe’s past advocacy for on-set safety.

Per Deadline, Waithe addressed the story in an appearance on The Breakfast Club Thursday.

Waithe said on the show that she thought the issues involving Mitchell had been resolved after HR intervention that includes sexual harassment training, but that she was told during the second season that things had taken a turn for the worse.

While she was told to let human resources do their job, Waithe now says that “my biggest regret is that I should have just said, ‘Forget that,’ and not trusted anybody to do my job and just reached out to Tiffany on my own, like, ‘Yo, what’s going on? What can I do? What can Lena do?’ And instead, I trusted someone else to do my job.'”

Waithe also revealed in the interview that Mitchell’s role on the show will not be recast and that Boone will also be leaving the show. Floyd has also announced that she is not returning for the third season of The Chi.

Prior to The Chi, Waithe won an Emmy for writing a second season episode of Netflix’s Master of None.

Meanwhile, also per Deadline, MTV announced Thursday that Mitchell’s MTV Movie & TV Award nomination, which he earned for The Chi, had been rescinded, in the wake of the accusations. Mitchell had been nominated for Best Performance In a Show.

In the time since the accusations surfaced, Mitchell has not addressed them publicly. The actor was first dropped from the Netflix film, Desperados, in which he “began making actresses uncomfortable almost as soon as he arrived in Mexico” for the shoot, and the other firings followed soon afterward, per The Hollywood Reporter.