During ABC’s TCA executive session Monday, the network’s entertainment president Karey Burke was asked to comment on the bombshell claims by former The Rookie co-star Afton Williamson, who said she walked away from the show after being sexually harassed and racially discriminated against.
The leading studio behind the series, Entertainment One, which co-produces with ABC Studios, said Sunday afternoon that it has “initiated an independent investigation” into the allegations.
“I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more,” Burke said Monday. “I heard at the end of June that there were allegations, and an investigation has been launched. We are waiting for answers… As soon as we learn more, we will make determination based on what’s found.”
She expressed hope that the third-party investigation launched by eOne would produce “results that are independent and trustworthy.”
Those conclusions “will guide us how to handle similar situations in the future,” Burke added when asked about a possible communications breakdown, as Williamson alleges the series’ showrunner had not acted on her complaints about racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
In her Instagram post over the weekend, Williamson, who played John Nolan’s (Nathan Fillion) training officer Talia Bishop on The Rookie, explained why she will not be returning for Season 2. She claims that she quit the ABC series because of systematic racism/racially charged comments, bullying and sexual harassment, which remained largely ignored by the producers of the show until the sexual harassment by the head of the hair department escalated to sexual assault at the wrap party and the person was fired.
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