Former 'Rookie' Star Afton Williamson Has Angela Basset's Support Amid Allegations
Over the weekend, Williamson announced she would not make a return in the series' second season, citing multiple incidents that allegedly happened on set. An investigation was launched in June, ABC President Karey Burke announced. Following her statement on Instagram, Bassett commented, "I'm SO proud of you and stand COMPLETELY in support of you. Speak your truth and speak it LOUD!"
Bassett and Williamson are co-stars in the Netflix film Otherhood. Released Friday (Aug 2), Otherhood follows three mothers (Bassett, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman) and empty-nesters who drive to New York City to reconnect with their adult sons.
Williamson edited her statement to include the names of those involved in the incidents along with a new post thanking the public for support. The actress said the showrunners ignored her multiple complaints of “racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments” from Sally Nicole Ciganovich, the head of the show's hair department and sexual harassment from recurring guest star Demetrius Grosse.
View this post on Instagram
To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. 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❤️👊🏾🙏🏾
Burke addressed the claims of the racial discrimination, sexual assault, and harassment at the network's Television Critics Association summer press tour Monday (Aug. 5), Variety reports. "I don't have a lot of answers," Burke started. "I learned alongside at the end of June that there were allegations and that an investigation had been launched by eOne and I'm waiting for the results of that investigation."
Burke was later questioned if ABC could trust that there would be a thorough investigation since it is being carried out by another company. She stated that she "hopeful" that the "results will be independent and trustworthy."
The investigation is ongoing.