The Rookie Actors Respond To Results Of Sexual Harassment Investigation

Afton Williamson The Rookie ABC still courtesy of ABC

It’s been a few weeks since Afton Williamson abruptly quit The Rookie, alleging she had been sexually harassed and racially discriminated against by people on the set. Afton Williamson publicly indicated one of the people she was making allegations against was Demetrius Grosse, along with a hairdresser on the series. An investigation was launched that later found Grosse was not behaving inappropriately during the alleged incidents, and now he and Afton Williamson have both made public statements regarding what happened.

We've known for a while that The Rookie parent company eOne had completed an outside investigation with the help of law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP and investigators EXTTI. However, the results of that investigation became public this week and now a statement from eOne says that an outside probe was done into the matter, determining that they “respect” Afton Williamson’s experience and decision to quit the show, but that it was ultimately found her coworkers on the series were not being inappropriate during the filming of The Rookie.

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.

Following the release of the eOne statement (via Deadline), Afton Williamson took to social media to clarify that she still feels she was treated poorly on the set of The Rookie and that the results of the investigation feel like a setback to her. As part of a longer statement on Instagram she said:

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.

As for Demetrius Grosse, the actor’s representative reported that Grosse "lost" working jobs in the wake of the Afton Williamson allegations. Grosse spoke through his attorney, Andrew Brettler, about the matter, who crafted a statement:

Demetrius Grosse was wrongfully accused and has been exonerated of the alleged misconduct regarding his work on The Rookie. After a lengthy and thorough investigation, independent counsel concluded, unequivocally, that the allegations leveled against him were completely meritless.

This post closed with the comment “onward,” also noting that Demetrius Grosse has maintained gigs in upcoming projects such as Jordan Peele’s Lovecraft Country. He will also be in Body Cam and Swagger, a new series, coming up.

The Rookie will be heading into Season 2, and showrunner Alexi Hawley has already detailed how the show will handle the exit of Afton Williamson’s character, Talia Bishop. We know Talia will shifting to a Federal Agency where she hopes to climb the ladder of success.

In the meantime, Nathan Fillion, who is the lead on the ABC series, will be without a partner at the start of the series. This will give the show a unique opportunity to have the character pair with different people on the show before finding his character a new partner, presumably at some point during the upcoming season.

The Rookie will return to ABC’s schedule on Sunday, September 29 in the 10 p.m. ET slot. For more on when your fall favorites are returning, take a look at our premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.