The Rookie's production studio to investigate star's claims of sexual harassment and racial bullying

The production studio behind ABC’s The Rookie says it will investigate allegations of sexual harassment and racial bullying made by cast member Afton Williamson, who quit the series after sensing that her complaints had been largely ignored.

As first reported by TVLine, Williamson is not returning for Season 2 of the procedural, where she played training officer Talia Bishop opposite Nathan Fillion’s title character. In a message posted to Instagram early Sunday morning, the actress alleged that starting with the pilot shoot in spring 2018 and throughout all of Season 1, she “experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department,” as well as sexual harassment from a recurring guest star. Williamson alleges that the bullying from the hair department escalated into sexual assault at the Season 1 wrap party.

“HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my showrunner/EP [Alexi Hawley], and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims,” Williamson said in her Instagram post. “Despite being told that “everything was handled” following a June meeting that she called — involving showrunner Alexi Hawley, two other producers, her agent and a SAG-AFTRA union representative — “The investigation hadn’t even begun and Season 2 had already started filming.” As a result, she says, “I walked.”

A statement issued by production studio eOne reads, “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.”

ABC in turn issued a statement saying, “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.”

Showrunner Hawley previously told TVLine of Williamson’s most unexpected exit, “It’s not really my place to get into her personal decision.”

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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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