'The Rookie' Star Identifies People She Claims Sexually Harassed, Racially Bullied Her

Afton Williamson on ABC's 'The Rookie' — Publicity — H 2019
ABC/The Rookie

The Rookie actress Afton Williamson on Monday revealed the names of the people who she claims sexually harassed her and subjected her to racial discrimination while working on the ABC drama. 

Posting a message on her personal Instagram, Williamson wrote that on "This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich."

Reps for ABC and co-producers ABC Studios, Entertainment One did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.

On Sunday, Williamson explained why she quit The Rookie two weeks ago. In a lengthy post on her verified Instagram account, the actress claimed she experienced racial discrimination and racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department as well as from The Rookie's executive producers starting with the pilot and continuing throughout the show's first season. What's more, Williamson says the harassment was reported to showrunner Alexi Hawley and that he never passed it along to human resources. Her issues escalated into sexual assault during The Rookie's wrap party, she said.

Entertainment One — the lead studio on the Nathan Fillion-led cop drama — in late June launched an ongoing investigation into Williamson's claims. On Monday, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke was asked about Williamson's claims at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "I don't have a lot of answers. I wish I had more," the exec said when asked to address Williamson's claims. "I learned alongside my colleagues at the end of June that there were allegations and an investigation had been launched by Entertainment One. I'm waiting for results of that investigation to get more answers."

Williamson quit the ABC drama in late July more than a month after the investigation was opened. Sources tell THR that Williamson has fired her entire representation team, including her agents Gersh. 

The Rookie was picked up straight to series and renewed for a second season. Fillion — who plays a rookie cop within the LAPD — stars alongside Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Mercedes Mason, Melissa O'Neil and Eric Winter. Key recurring players from season one included Mircea Monroe, Danny Nucci, Demetrius Grosse, David DeSantos, Currie Graham, Michael Beach, Shawn Ashmore, Cameron J. Armstrong, Sarah Shahi and Sara Rue.





To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE

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