'Rookie' producers say no merit to Afton Williamson's claims | News Coverage from USA

‘Rookie’ producers say no merit to Afton Williamson’s claims

Andrea Mandell

USA TODAY

Published 7:32 PM EDT Sep 17, 2019

Following an investigation, producers for “The Rookie” are rejecting claims made by actress Afton Williamson, who quit the ABC police drama after saying she was subjected to bullying, racist comments, sexual harassment and sexual assault on set.

Third-party investigators have found no evidence of her claims, eOne, which produces the show for ABC, said Tuesday.

In August, the actress claimed she was sexually harassed by a “recurring guest star,” whom she later identified as actor Demetrius Grosse, who played Detective Kevin Wolfe in five episodes during Season 1, according to IMDB. 

She also accused the show’s “hair department head” of racial discrimination and “racially charged inappropriate comments,” as well as bullying that “escalated into sexual assault” at a party. She named the department head as Sallie Ciganovich. 

The actress had said she reported the sexual harassment to showrunner Alexi Hawley, but it “remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.”

“As a result of the independent investigation, we have concluded that those identified in Ms. Williamson’s allegations did not conduct themselves in an unlawful manner or demonstrate behavior inappropriate for the workplace,” eOne said in a statement to USA TODAY.

The investigation was commissioned through law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp , which hired EXTTI to conduct nearly 400 hours of interviews and examine video and other evidence.

The production company said the investigation further concluded that “Rookie” executive producers, including Hawley, “addressed matters of which they were made aware promptly and in a fair and reasonable manner.”

ABC shared similar sentiments Tuesday. “We are glad that eOne has completed an investigation into allegations on the set of ‘The Rookie.’ We are confident that eOne takes these matters seriously and that they will continue to look for the best ways to surface concerns and address complaints,” the network said in a statement. 

To protect privacy of those interviewed, eOne said, the investigator’s report will not be made available publicly.

“We recognize and respect that as individuals, the lens through which we view situations, interactions and comments, can differ based on our experiences and perspectives,” said eOne. “As such, we regret that Ms. Williamson’s time on the series was not a positive one for her, and we respect her decision to move on to other projects.”

Williamson played LAPD training officer Talia Bishop opposite star and executive producer Nathan Fillion, who plays a fortysomething police trainee. She is being replaced by a new character in Episode 4 of the current season. 

USA TODAY could not immediately reach Williamson for comment.


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