Afton Williamson, a former cast member on The Rookie, has responded to the findings of an independent investigation that found no wrongdoing regarding her claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment on the set of the ABC series.
“What saddens me the most is that the lengths that were taken to Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth, were far greater than those made to Protect and Maintain a Safe Working Environment for Employees,” the actress wrote in a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday night.
A statement from the company earlier today said: “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.”
“It was also concluded that the executive producers, including showrunner Alexi Hawley, addressed matters of which they were made aware promptly and in a fair and reasonable manner,” the statement continued.
The investigation “was commissioned” via law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP and investigators EXTTI, eOne said, adding that the probe “encompassed nearly 400 hours of interviews and review of evidence.”
However, Williamson disagreed with the findings and said she found them “heartbreaking.”
“It’s Heartbreaking for everyone on that set; Past and Present. And for every Actor out there who Stands in the Face Of Harassment and Discrimination, Assault and Injustice. As a Black Woman, an Artist, an Actor, in 2019,” she wrote.
The actress went on to urge Hollywood to better protect its workers.
“We’ve got to Do Better as an Industry. It’s just Talk until you actually Do Something,” she said.
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What saddens me the most is that the lengths that were taken to Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth, were far greater than those made to Protect and Maintain a Safe Working Environment for Employees. It’s Heartbreaking for everyone on that set; Past and Present. And for every Actor out there who Stands in the Face Of Harassment and Discrimination, Assault and Injustice. As a Black Woman, an Artist, an Actor, in 2019. My Speaking the Truth, Standing up for myself, and Leaving an Unsafe Work Environment, Changed things for a lot of people: Black Women, Artists, Actors, Victims, and Survivors of Injustice and Discrimination; Gave Hope and a Promise that things Will Change; that things ARE CHANGING. And that is Not in Vain. My prayer is that we get to a point in this Industry where we don’t just Talk about it in 2 hour Mandatory Meetings. But we adhere to Keeping the Promises Made to Everyone on every set, Tirelessly Fulfilling their Dreams with Passion and Dedication. In order to Be the Change, I want to see, I will Continue to Work so that Casts & Crews alike finally See Words Align With Action. We’ve got to Do Better as an Industry. It’s just Talk until you actually Do Something. ❤️
Last month Williamson went public with her allegations on social media, saying she wouldn’t be returning for the second season of the police drama because of problems on set.
“I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers,” she alleged in an August 4 Instagram post. “During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star.”
After the post went viral, Williamson followed it up with a second post naming the recurring guest actor, as well as the hair department exec she alleged sexually assaulted her.
The Rookie co-stars former Castle actor Nathan Fillion, along with Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Mercedes Mason, Melissa O’Neil, and Eric Winter. The series was created by Alexi Hawley, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer.
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