11:53am PT by Rick Porter
'American Housewife' Actress Carly Hughes Exits Over "Toxic Environment"
American Housewife regular Carly Hughes has left the ABC comedy, citing a "toxic environment" on the show's set.
Hughes, who was a regular for the show's first four seasons, appeared in the fifth-season premiere of the series on Oct. 28, which was largely filmed before the coronavirus pandemic shut down production in the spring. She did not appear and was not credited in American Housewife's second episode of the season last week.
"I was no longer able to work in the toxic environment that was created on American Housewife. I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination," Hughes said in a statement. "As a black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve — to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead."
ABC Signature, which produces the series, investigated Hughes' claims and says it made "positive changes" as a result. Creator Sarah Dunn is no longer actively involved with American Housewife (though she was credited as an executive producer and co-writer of the Nov. 5 episode), and line producer Mark J. Greenberg departed. Showrunners Kenny Schwartz and Rick Wiener also took sensitivity training.
"Carly was a valued member of the cast, and we had hoped she would return to the show this season," a spokesperson for the show said. "The concerns she raised led to positive changes to the workplace and improvements to the culture, but we respect the decision she made to move on. We wish her nothing but the best."
Hughes was the only Black series regular on American Housewife. She played Angela, one of Katie's (Katy Mixon) two best friends (Ali Wong plays the third member of the group). Her credits also include Netflix's Insatiable and Lifetime's holiday movie The Christmas Edition, which premieres Sunday.
Deadline first reported the news.