The Rookie's Afton Williamson Alleges She Quit After Sexual Assault And Racism

The Rookie Season 1 Afton Williamson as Talia Bishop ABC

It was a surprise to hear The Rookie star Afton Williamson would not be returning as Talia Bishop in Season 2. But it's even more of a shock to read her reasons for why she left the show.

Afton Williamson just shared a lengthy social media post, writing that she felt she owed it to her amazing fans to tell the truth of why she would not be returning for The Rookie Season 2. In her words, she claims that during the filming for the pilot episode, she experienced racial discrimination and racially charged inappropriate comments from unnamed members of the show's hair department, and also "bullying" from the executive producers. She also alleged she was later sexually assaulted during the Season 1 wrap party.

Here's more from her Instagram post:

During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party. The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised. The Hair Dept. Head was fired ONLY after the sexual assault and NOT for an entire year of outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behavior in and out of the Hair and Makeup trailer. HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my Showrunner/EP and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims.

Afton Williamson's post continued by alleging that the only time she was asked to participate in an investigation on her claims was after a meeting she called in June following ABC's renewal of The Rookie for Season 2. She said the meeting included showrunner Alexi Hawley and two other producers, plus her own agent and SAG-AFTRA union representative. Here's more of her story from there:

It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers. After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that the actor would be fired. 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. This actor reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the actor had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved.

Afton Williamson did not name the guest star in question, or any of the other producers involved. However, she ended her post by explaining this is all why she decided not to return for The Rookie Season 2:

I was asked to return this season, and promised that 'everything was handled.' The investigation hadn’t even begun and Season 2 had already started filming. I turned it down and I walked. Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform so it’s time to use my Voice. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. 'Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world.'

Here's her entire post:

A photo posted by on

So that's Afton Williamson's side of why she left The Rookie. It certainly doesn't sound like the "amicable" exit of initial reports. We'll have to see if ABC responds, or if show creator Alexi Hawley shares a statement. The Rookie stars Nathan Fillion, who is also an executive producer on the series, in a reunion with Hawley, who was also an executive producer on Castle. UPDATE: Here are statements from ABC and the show's production company.

The Rookie Season 2 is set to premiere Sunday, September 29 on ABC. Check out everything that has been cancelled or renewed so far in 2019, and keep up with all of the summer premieres with our TV guide.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.