The Rookie has made a lot of headlines this summer due to former star Afton Williamson alleging racism, harassment, and assault during her time working on the show's freshman season. News of her allegations broke after it was announced that she was leaving the show ahead of Season 2, meaning that her character would not be in the mix anymore. So, how will The Rookie write Afton Williamson's Talia Bishop out for the second season? Here's what we know so far.
Talia Bishop's departure will be an extension of the twist in the Season 1 finale that saw her receive a reprimand for concealing the fact that her foster brother was a felon when she filled out her personal history questionnaire for the police academy. Showrunner Alexi Hawley described the exit for Bishop as "organic," then went on to tell TVLine this about her departure:
She was never going to get a fair shake at the LAPD. So ultimately she’s transferring over to a federal agency. There she can start with a clean slate and hopefully rocket to the top of the ladder.
It sounds like The Rookie is giving as respectful a sendoff as possible to the character of Talia Bishop, considering the way her story ended in what turned out to be Afton Williamson's final episode. While fans will likely be bummed not to have Bishop in the mix anymore, Bishop can be off doing bigger and better things. I'd say that it's probably unlikely that Williamson would want to return as a guest star or for her character to give an on-screen farewell.
Afton Williamson shocked The Rookie fans everywhere earlier this week when she came out and claimed that she was harassed and ultimately assaulted due to the show. Her initial post withheld names, but she stated that she was on the receiving end of "racist commentary" and "bullying" from the head of the Hair Department, with then "escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap Party."
The actress also claimed that she had experienced sexual harassment from a recurring guest star, and that her complaints about these issues were not satisfactorily addressed. Both ABC and The Rookie production studio eOne issued statements regarding the allegations, with ABC stating that the matter was being taken "very seriously" and working environment safety "is a top priority," and eOne revealing that "an independent investigation" has been launched and "is ongoing."
Following these statements, Afton Williamson took to social media again, this time to identify the two people she alleges are her abusers. The guest star in question was Demetrius Grosse, who played Detective Kevin Wolfe in five of the 20 episodes of The Rookie's first season. ABC's president then spoke out about policy and the results of the investigation launched by eOne.
Only time will tell if and when details of the investigation become public. Details of how The Rookie sends off Talia Bishop in Afton Williamson's absence will be revealed when the show, starring Nathan Fillion, returns for Season 2 on ABC in the fall. If you want to catch up before fall premiere season or relive Afton Williamson's days on the show, you can find the full first season streaming on Hulu now.