‘Rookie’ star Afton Williamson quits, says she experienced sexual harassment and racial discrimination

Actress Afton Williamson announced in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday that she will not return for the second season of the ABC cop drama “The Rookie,” accusing the show’s hair department head of repeated instances of racial discrimination and sexual harassment that she said went ignored by the showrunner despite her complaints.

In the Instagram post, Williamson accused the show’s hair department of “Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments” and also accused the show’s executive producers of bullying her on set.

She also accused showrunner Alexi Hawley of not passing on her complaints to human resources and said that the hair department head — whom she did not identify by name — was only fired after a “sexual assault” incident she said she suffered at the show’s wrap party.

In addition, Williamson also accused an unnamed recurring guest star on the show of sexual harassment and said she was required to film scenes with him even after she filed complaints about his behavior.

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PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Actress Afton Williamson attends the Disney and ABC Television 2019 TCA Winter press tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on February 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
THE ROOKIE - "Homefront" - When one of their colleagues is arrested by Internal Affairs for lying on the witness stand, it leads to the release of three felons whose cases he worked on and the team being asked to check in on them now that they are free. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan finds out he is being sued by a man who claims he used excessive force which led to an injury on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - "Homefront" - When one of their colleagues is arrested by Internal Affairs for lying on the witness stand, it leads to the release of three felons whose cases he worked on and the team being asked to check in on them now that they are free. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan finds out he is being sued by a man who claims he used excessive force which led to an injury on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) CALEB CASTILLE, AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - "Homefront" - When one of their colleagues is arrested by Internal Affairs for lying on the witness stand, it leads to the release of three felons whose cases he worked on and the team being asked to check in on them now that they are free. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan finds out he is being sued by a man who claims he used excessive force which led to an injury on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, APRIL 2 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON, CALEB CASTILLE
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE - WALT DISNEY TELEVISION - TCA Winter Press Tour. (Image Group LA via Getty Images) ALEXI HAWLEY (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), AFTON WILLIAMSON, ERIC WINTER, ALYSSA DIAZ, TITUS MAKIN, RICHARD T. JONES
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Actress Afton Williamson attends the Disney and ABC Television 2019 TCA Winter press tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on February 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
2019 TCA WINTER PRESS TOUR - Talent, executives and showrunners from Walt Disney Television via Getty Images and Freeform series arrived at the 2019 TCA Winter Press Tour carpet, at The Langham Huntington, in Pasadena, California. (Image Group LA via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - "Manhunt" - When a prison bus crashes, all units must respond as some inmates face severe injuries while others seek an opportunity to flee. In the wake of the accident, Officer Nolan tries to impress an FBI hostage negotiator while tracking down an escaped convict on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, MARCH 5 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - "Manhunt" - When a prison bus crashes, all units must respond as some inmates face severe injuries while others seek an opportunity to flee. In the wake of the accident, Officer Nolan tries to impress an FBI hostage negotiator while tracking down an escaped convict on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, MARCH 5 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - "Plain Clothes Day" - The rookies are really put to the test when their training officers accompany them out of uniform for Plain Clothes Day, which forces them to make all the decisions while on patrol. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan tries to prove he has been progressing faster than the other rookies to justify his desire of becoming a detective within five years on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, FEB. 26 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Rick Rowell via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON, NATHAN FILLION
THE ROOKIE - "Redwood" - An unscheduled visit by the vice president of the United States puts the station on high alert. The secret service tasks Officer Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and Officer Bishop (Afton Williamson) with checking out a possible threat to the vice president while the rest of the team try to keep the streets clear and safe for his visit on "The Rookie," airing TUESDAY, JAN. 22 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON, NATHAN FILLION
THE ROOKIE - "The Ride Along" - Sergeant Grey informs Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop that they are going to have a movie director as a ride-along during their patrol after a fun afternoon granting the wish of a Make-A-Wish kid as honorary police officer Kaydence Patton. Meanwhile, Officer Bradford is tested once again after he learns that his wife, Isabel, has been arrested for drug possession, on "The Rookie," TUESDAY, DEC. 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
THE ROOKIE - Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's "The Rookie" stars Afton Williamson as Talia Bishop. (Ed Herrera/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
THE ROOKIE - Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's "The Rookie" stars Afton Williamson as Talia Bishop. (Ed Herrera/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Afton Williamson from 'The Rookie' attends The Paley Center of Media's 2018 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews - ABC at The Paley Center for Media on September 8, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Afton Williamson from "The Rookie" attends The Paley Center of Media's 2018 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews - ABC at The Paley Center for Media on September 8, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
THE ROOKIE - "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" - After Nolan and Talia lose control of a crime scene, they begin to debate whether people are fundamentally good or bad and what that means for a police officer. Meanwhile, Lucy is concerned Tim is enabling his wife's destructive behavior and not taking care of himself, on an all-new episode of "The Rookie," TUESDAY, OCT. 30 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07: Afton Williamson and Nathan Fillion of ABC's 'The Rookie' pose for a portrait during the 2018 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Benjo Arwas/Getty Images)
TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR 2018 - Talent, executives and showrunners from Walt Disney Television via Getty Images arrived to The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills for the Disney | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television All-Star Cocktail Reception and Interview Opportunity. (Image Group LA via Getty Images) AFTON WILLIAMSON
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07: Afton Williamson arrives at the Disney ABC Television Hosts TCA Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
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“The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement,” Williamson wrote. “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. […] This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him.”

“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,” a spokesperson for ABC said in a statement. “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”

Entertainment One said in their own 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.”

Hawley did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.

ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke is scheduled to speak with reporters on Monday during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.

Read Williamson’s full Instagram post below.

View this post 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,Demetrius Grosse,and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept.Head, Sally Ciganovich 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.Ciganovich 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. 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. 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 Grosse 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. Grosse 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 Grosse 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” ❤️🙏🏽

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

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