The Rookie may have scored a renewal for Season 2, but the news surrounding the ABC series has been far from positive in recent weeks due to allegations from actress Afton Williamson. Formerly a series regular on The Rookie, Williamson came out and alleged that she quit the show after sexual harassment, assault, and racism, stating that a recurring guest star and the head of the hair department were to blame, but she didn't name names. Now, Williamson has identified the actor who she claims harassed her, as well as the hair department head.
In a lengthy Instagram caption in which she thanked the many people who came out in support after her after she made her allegations public, Ashton Williamson included this about those she'd been referring to in her initial statement:
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.
38-year-old actor Demetrius Grosse appeared in five episodes of the 20-episode first season of The Rookie. He played Detective Kevin Wolfe, the partner of Detective Elijah Vestri. He certainly didn't have as key a role as Nathan Fillion of Afton Williamson herself, but his presence on set was evidently quite problematic for the actress.
In her initial allegation in which she did not name any names, Afton Williamson stated that she had been harassed by a guest actor, and that she'd been "assured" that he would be fired after she reported the harassment to the showrunner. She then stated, however, that he was not fired, HR was not involved, and she was written into scenes with him further in Season 1. With regard to the hair department head, Williamson said that the individual was fired only after sexual assault.
Take a look at her full post, in which Afton Williamson shared her feelings as well as identified her harassers:
After Afton Williamson made her initial public allegations of harassment, before she named names, The Rookie production studio eOne and ABC both released statements addressing what she'd come forward to say. As for eOne, the studio revealed that an independent investigation had been launched and was ongoing, meaning that "it would not be appropriate to comment" at the time.
ABC stated that they were aware of the investigation since late June, safety in working environments is "a top priority," and the matter was being taken "very seriously." Only time will tell what the findings of the investigation will be and what they will or will not impact moving forward.
The Rookie returns to ABC this fall without Afton Williamson on board, so Nathan Fillion's John Nolan and Co. will have to move forward without Talia Bishop. It won't be the first time the team was dealt a serious blow, although we'll have to wait and see how the show wrote out Williamson's characters and whether it was tragic.