Lena Waithe is breaking her silence in regards to the sexual harassment allegations brought against actor Jason Mitchell. Waithe, who is the creator of the popular television series, The Chi, and the series’ showrunner, Ayanna Floyd, released their statements regarding the matter on Tuesday (May 28).
A source close to Waithe told The Hollywood Reporter that she was only made aware of Mitchell’s alleged harassment only after the first season of The Chi wrapped. In Waithe’s statement to THR, she focuses on one of Mitchell’s alleged victims, Tiffany Boone. “I think Tiffany is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman. I wish her nothing but success in the future. I look forward to getting back to work on season three,” she said.
Ayanna Floyd seemingly challenged Waithe’s account, stating “when I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it.”
Floyd continued: “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”
As previously reported, Jason Mitchell is accused of harassing more than one of his co-stars on The Chi, including Boone. He has reportedly been terminated from the show as well as two upcoming projects he was set to star in. He was also dropped from his management company.
In the wake of the Me Too movement, Waithe previously told THR: “I’ve been very involved in Time’s Up and that movement, and for season two, we’re making sure that women feel safe [I]f you want to play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on set with an actress or anyone, I’ll happily call Showtime and say, ‘This person has to go,’ and you will get shot up and it’ll be a wonderful finale.”