Afton Williamson, who starred alongside Nathan Fillion on the ABC series, The Rookie, has quit. She posted a statement on Instagram to explain that after complaining of sexual harassment and racial discrimination, she resigned when nothing was done.
The Hollywood Reporter covered the story of the shake-up on the set of The Rookie after Williamson went public with her complaints that a pattern of harsh treatment left her with no choice but to quit.
Williamson was a co-star in the series from showrunner Alexi Hawley (Castle). She explained she could not continue in a lengthy letter on Instagram.
“I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers. During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.”
Williamson continued saying that she had been promised that her concerns would be handled and taken to HR, but they weren’t. She had been promised that the actor in question would be fired, yet Hawley admitted that the firing did not happen, despite assurances.
Afton Williamson has revealed that she quit her role on ABC’s ‘THE ROOKIE’ after complaints she made regarding racial bullying and sexual harassment that happened on set went largely ignored by ABC. (Source: https://t.co/FS83QAeHHA) pic.twitter.com/HSeyPUqwuY— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 4, 2019
Williamson explained that when she found out her reports from Season One hadn’t even been investigated after shooting began for Season Two, the actress knew she needed to leave. She said she has a platform, and that she should use that platform for the greater good.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke will meet with reporters Monday during the network’s time at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. This matter will be a topic of conversation.
The premise of the show is that Nathan Fillion plays a middle-aged rookie cop with the LAPD alongside a group of men and women in their twenties. Williamson played Fillion’s direct supervisor in the series, and was in many scenes alongside him.
Vanity Fair reached out to Hawley about Williamson’s sudden departure and the showrunner would only say that “It’s not really my place to get into her personal decision.”
Williamson said the only time any of her concerns were addressed was in a meeting with Hawley, producers, her agent and a SAG-AFTRA union rep. During that gathering, she stated that it was clear this was the first time most of them were hearing about problems that had been going on for a year.