The Rookie's Afton Williamson Alleges Misconduct On Set
The ABC television series The Rookie which is now filming its second season will no longer have Williamson on the set as Officer Talia Bishop.
She took to her Instagram page to announce this, and also the reason why. Williamson blames her departure on multiple instances of sexual assault, and racial discrimination and racially charged comments. All this had been reported to producers who according to her did not react appropriately or on time. The sexual misconduct finally escalated into a sexual assault at their wrap party of the first season.
A Background to the resignation
Williamson claims that all her complaints about the abuse by this particular “recurring” guest star landed on deaf ears, as the executive producer Alexi Hawley neither investigated nor even reported them to HR! She also had many racist comments and bullying from the hair department and the executive producers of the series.
"The Hair Dept. Head whom she named as Sallie 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," Williamson wrote. "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."She also said that Hawley told her that “the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved. ”She was however asked to return for season 2, that “everything was handled”, but that sadly, no investigation had started when the second season started filming. All this made her turn down the offer for a second season. Note that Williamson played LAPD training officer Talia Bishop, opposite star and executive producer Nathan Fillion, who plays a 40-something police trainee.
At a point in history where there is a widespread advocacy for women’s rights and the rights of minorities, it is sad that actors at this high level of operation find themselves in such situations. This is an opportunity for stakeholders and lawmakers to put both hands on deck to make sure such issues are eradicated in the industry. We wish the best for Williamson as she goes through this ordeal. She is strong and has a positive mindset when we see her write: “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”.