Disney ABC Television Hosts TCA Winter Press Tour 2019 - Arrivals Disney ABC Television Hosts TCA Winter Press Tour 2019 - Arrivals
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images)

Afton Williamson Explains Reason For 'The Rookie' Departure

The 34-year-old actress took to Instagram to detail her decision.

On Sunday (Aug. 4), actress Afton Williamson shared with fans that she's quitting ABC's The Rookie after it was renewed for a second season. The rising entertainer said she's experienced bouts of inappropriate racial comments from the hair department and sexual harassment from an unnamed "recurring guest star."

Williamson took to her Instagram page to detail her decision, also noting a lack of action by the show's handlers after she made certain members aware of her experiences. On the subject of an investigation, Williamson revealed that she was part of a meeting with the showrunner, two producers, her agent, and a SAG-AFTRA Union representative where she came to the conclusion that the showrunner didn't notify the producers of her situation.

"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," she wrote. "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. 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."

In a statement issued to Page Six, an ABC spokesperson said, “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously." The show's studio, Entertainment One, has an investigation underway.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. I owe it to you my amazing fans to share the Truth. Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers. 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. The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement. This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. 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. 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” ❤️🙏🏽

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

From the Web

More on Vibe

Matt Winkelmeyer

Keanu Reeves Will Reprise Role In ‘The Matrix 4’

Keanu Reeves is returning to The Matrix. Reeves and co-star, Carrie-Anne Moss, have signed on to reprise their roles as “Neo” and “Trinity” in an upcoming fourth installment of the successful film franchise, Variety reports.

Lana Wachowski, who wrote The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded, will pen the script for the film produced by Warner Bro. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. Additional information, including the plot and further details around other potential cast members returning for The Matrix 4, remain unknown. Production on the film is set to begin in 2020, a source told the website.

Lana and her sister, Lilly Wachowski, are credited with creating and directing The Matrix series. In 1999, a woman named Sophia Stewart filed a billion dollar copyright infringement lawsuit accusing the Wachowskis of stealing the script from her. Conflicting reports claim Stewart won the lawsuit, while others say the suit was dismissed.

The original Matrix film, which was released in 1999, brought in more than $400 million worldwide. Its 2003 sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, earned close to a billion dollars, while The Matrix Revolutions made just under $430 million.

Continue Reading
Colette Garcia/L.A. Clippers

Kawhi Leonard Donates One Million Backpacks To Students In Los Angeles

Kawhi Leonard partnered with the L.A. Clippers and Baby2Baby, to give away one million backpacks to students in multiple school districts around Los Angeles. The charitable undertaking, announced Tuesday (Aug. 20), is the largest in Los Angeles Unified School District history and is aimed at reducing some of the finical stress faced by low-income families during the school year, NBA.com reports.

“My goal this year is to make a meaningful contribution both on and off the court,” said Leonard who is a native of Morenoa Valley, California and recently joined the Clippers after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors. “This felt like the right way to get started. It was important to me to make this announcement in my hometown of Moreno Valley at my former Elementary School, but the benefits this program will have across all of Los Angeles makes today even more special.”

The backpacks will be donated to every student in Moreno Valley Unified, Inglewood Unified and Los Angeles Unified School districts.

In 2018, approximately 80% of LAUSD's K-12 students came from low income families, were homeless, or in foster care. Over the last eight years, Baby2Baby has dispersed more than 70 million basic necessities to children at underserved schools, homeless shelters, foster care, hospital and those affected by natural disasters.

“There are a lot of families throughout the L.A. region working hard every day to earn everything in their lives. This program is our effort to extend a hand to make heading back to school a little easier,” added Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations for the Clippers. “Our deepest appreciation goes out to Kawhi Leonard and Baby2Baby’s incredible network of ambassadors who walk the walk when it comes to using their platforms and voices to provide real solutions to impact the everyday lives of the people around us.”

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Questlove To Executive Produce Broadway Musical About ‘Soul Train’

Soul Train, the audacious dance series that proudly spotlighted black culture while showcasing performances from legendary artists such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and more, is the focus of a new Broadway musical with Queslove as executive producer, Deadline reports.

The Roots drummer, who authored the 2013 book Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, will executive produce the musical alongside, Tony Corneilus, son of Soul Train host and creator, Don Corneilus. Having worked directly with his father for “several years,” Cornelius’ son expressed gratitude for the impact that the series “has had on the culture at large,” both stateside and abroad.

Playwright Dominique Moriseeau, director Kamilah Forbes, and choreographer Camille A. Brown, are also included in the musical's production team. In a statement to Deadline, Morisseau said that she can’t wait to collaborate with a “legendary creative team of incredible women to celebrate the history and the unsung hero of our nation’s longest running televised music and dance series.”

More than 20 hits from the era are set to be featured in the musical, which will also detail Cornelius’ story in the early days of creating the series. Soul Train debuted in October 1971, and took its final bow in March of 2006. Cornelius died by suicide in 2012.

The musical is slated to debut in 2021, corresponding with the 50th anniversary of Soul Train’s television debut.

Continue Reading

Top Stories