Rookie star Afton Williamson quits over alleged sexual harassment, racial discrimination

Afton Williamson was also highly critical of how her claims were handled by The Rookie showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley.
Afton Williamson was also highly critical of how her claims were handled by The Rookie showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley.PHOTO: AP

NEW YORK (AP) - Afton Williamson, co-star of ABC crime series The Rookie, is quitting the show because of sexual harassment and racial discrimination she experienced during the first season.

In an Instagram post on Sunday (Aug 4), she said that throughout the filming of the show's pilot, "I experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department".

Williamson said the treatment worsened when she was sexually harassed by a recurring guest star, bullied by executive producers and ultimately was sexually assaulted by a crew member at a wrap party.

ABC Studios responded with a statement, largely referring to its production partner, Entertainment One.

"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."

Williamson, who is African-American, was also highly critical of how her claims were handled by showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley.

"After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that the actor would be fired," said Williamson of the guest star.

"I was also asked to film with him the very next day as a courtesy to the script, even though we had not begun filming the episode yet."