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Afton Williamson responds after 'Rookie' investigation finds 'no inappropriate behavior'  3 Weeks ago

Source:   USA Today  

Following an investigation, producers for "The Rookie" are rejecting claims made by actress Afton Williamson, who quit the ABC police drama after saying she was subjected to bullying, racist comments, sexual harassment and sexual assault on set.

Third-party investigators have found no evidence of her claims, eOne, which produces the show for ABC, said Tuesday.

Williamson responded to the investigation results in a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday evening, calling the "no inappropriate behavior" findings "heartbreaking."

"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," she wrote. "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."

She continued: "My Speaking the Truth, Standing up for myself, and Leaving an Unsafe Work Environment, Changed things for a lot of people: Black Women, Artists, Actors, Victims, and Survivors of Injustice and Discrimination; Gave Hope and a Promise that things Will Change; that things ARE CHANGING. And that is Not in Vain."

In August, the actress claimed she was sexually harassed by a "recurring guest star," whom she later identified as actor Demetrius Grosse, who played Detective Kevin Wolfe in five episodes during Season 1, according to IMDB. 

She also accused the show's "hair department head" of racial discrimination and "racially charged inappropriate comments," as well as bullying that "escalated into sexual assault" at a party. She named the department head as Sallie Ciganovich. 

The actress had said she reported the sexual harassment to showrunner Alexi Hawley, but it "remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised."

"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," eOne said in a statement to USA TODAY.

The investigation was commissioned through law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, which hired EXTTI to conduct nearly 400 hours of interviews and examine video and other evidence.

The production company said the investigation further concluded that "Rookie" executive producers, including Hawley, "addressed matters of which they were made aware promptly and in a fair and reasonable manner."

ABC shared similar sentiments Tuesday. “We are glad that eOne has completed an investigation into allegations on the set of ‘The Rookie.’ We are confident that eOne takes these matters seriously and that they will continue to look for the best ways to surface concerns and address complaints," the network said in a statement. 

To protect privacy of those interviewed, eOne said, the investigator’s report will not be made available publicly.

"We recognize and respect that as individuals, the lens through which we view situations, interactions and comments, can differ based on our experiences and perspectives," said eOne. "As such, we regret that Ms. Williamson’s time on the series was not a positive one for her, and we respect her decision to move on to other projects."

Williamson played LAPD training officer Talia Bishop opposite star and executive producer Nathan Fillion, who plays a fortysomething police trainee. She is being replaced by a new character in Episode 4 of the current season. 

Her statement continued: "My prayer is that we get to a point in this Industry where we don’t just Talk about it in 2 hour Mandatory Meetings. But we adhere to Keeping the Promises Made to Everyone on every set, Tirelessly Fulfilling their Dreams with Passion and Dedication. In order to Be the Change, I want to see, I will Continue to Work so that Casts & Crews alike finally See Words Align With Action. We’ve got to Do Better as an Industry. It’s just Talk until you actually Do Something."

USA TODAY could not immediately reach Williamson for comment. 

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