Last week, one of the stars of ABC’s hit cop dramedy The Rookie, Afton Williamson, publicly quit the show after what she alleged was frequent on-set sexual harassment and racism over the course of the first season — behavior that went ignored by the showrunner and the network’s HR department despite her pleas for an investigation. Her officer character, TVLine now reports, will not be killed off within the show’s universe when season two begins, but rather “organically” transferred out of the LAPD to a new career at a federal agency. This move, in turn, will pair her trainee (Nathan Fillion) with a new officer, set to be played by Lost alum Harold Perrineau for a few episodes.
Williamson revealed the reason for her departure in an Instagram message, alleging she was frequently subjected to “racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department,” as well as sexual harassment from a “recurring guest star,” whom she later identified as Demetrius Grosse. She also claimed she was sexually assaulted by the hair-department head on one occasion. “HR protocol was never adhered to,” Williamson wrote. “An investigation was never issued for any of my claims.”
While the hair-department head was ultimately fired, Williamson said a June meeting between herself, showrunner Alexi Hawley, producers, her agent, and a SAG-AFTRA union representative was useless — in fact, Grosse was invited back for The Rookie’s second season. “It was clear to all present in the meeting that the showrunner had not shared my reports with any of the producers,” Williamson wrote. “The investigation hadn’t even begun and season two had already started filming.” As a result, Williamson said she had no choice but to “walk” away from the show. “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,” she concluded. “Strength comes from within. It comes from above.”