The studio behind ABC's The Rookie, Entertainment One (eOne) said they found no wrongdoing after actress Afton Williamson exited the series after making accusations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The actress revealed earlier this summer she would not return for Season 2 of the ABC police drama and opened up about her experiences on the show.
The company released a statement, released in full by Variety, about the investigation: "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. 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."
eOne also said the investigation "was commissioned via law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP who engaged third-party firm EXTTI" and that it "encompassed nearly 400 hours of interviews and review of evidence."
Williamson first shared her claims of bullying, harassment and sexual assault on Instagram in August, accusing the head of the show's hair department, as well an unnamed series guest stat. She also accused the show's executive producers of bullying.
In a separate post days later, she named the head of the hair department as Sally Nicole Ciganovich and the guest star as Demetrius Grosse.
"Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers," Williamson wrote in her first post. "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."
She said at the time that she repeatedly reported the incidents to series creator and show runner Alexi Hawley but said he never went to HR with her claims. She also claimed Ciganovich was only fired after she reported the sexual assault, and not after a year of "racist" language and "bullying" behavior. Williamson also claimed she had been told Grosse would be fired, but was asked to film a scene with him the next day, and she was later written into scenes with him at the end of the season.0comments
"I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved," she wrote. "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. Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform so it's time to use my Voice."
The Rookie is set to return for Season 2 Sunday, September 29 at 10 p.m. ET On ABC.
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