The Rookie: Afton Williamson Claims She Quit Series Over Racism and Sexual Misconduct On Set

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Just over a week after it emerged that Afton Williamson was bowing out of The Rookie, details about why the actress is leaving the ABC series are starting to emerge. 

Williamson took to Instagram on Sunday morning to confirm her departure and shed light on what really paved the way for her departure. 

A Positive Attitude - The Rookie Season 1 Episode 11

In the post, Williamson alleges that there was racism, bullying, and sexual harassment on the set of the series and that it was largely ignored by the producers. 

Williamson claims that the issues she encountered during her one-season run on the series were with the hair department and a recurring guest star. 

Related: The Rookie Renewed at ABC

As such, she alleges that she turned to the showrunner Alexi Hawley, but her claims were not investigated. 

What's more, the recurring guest star was given the go-ahead to return, and that's part of the reason why Williamson is bowing out of the series.  

Shoot You In the Face - The Rookie Season 1 Episode 15

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

“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."

"The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised," the post continues.

"The Hair Dept. Head 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.”

Competitive Streak - The Rookie Season 1 Episode 5

“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."

"The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement."

Related: The Rookie Shocker: Afton Williamson Departs

"This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers.”

"After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that the actor would be fired. I was also asked to film with him the very next day as a courtesy to the script, even though we had not begun filming the episode yet," she says of the unidentified actor. 

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"This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved."

"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. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. “Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world” ❤️🙏🏽"

ABC or the show's producers have yet to respond. 

Meanwhile, Williamson starred with Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, and Felicity Huffman in the Netflix movie, Otherhood that premiered on Netflix this weekend.

She shared the following thoughs on her Instagram account about the amazing experience.

SO.....Last year I got the honor to film with @im.angelabassett an Indeed HONOR.

I tried to find one picture where we weren’t falling over laughing, this is the only one. She’s just a joy to film with. Amazing inside and out, learned so much in such a short amount of time watching her carry such grace and poise and that sass that only Ms. Angela can serve.

I was floating on a cloud all summer

She was one of the highlights of the movie, so if you haven't yet seen it, I urge you to watch!

Afton Williamson Dressed Up


The Hollywood Reporter reports that ABC and Entertainment One issued reponses to Williamson's allegations late Sunday.

"The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One. In late June, eOne made us aware and informed us that they launched an investigation that is ongoing. The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously," an ABC spokesperson said in a statement.

“We take claims of this nature very seriously. We have initiated an independent investigation which is ongoing and as such, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time,” eOne said in their own statement.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch The Rookie online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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