ABC’s police procedural show ‘The Rookie’ begins with John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the history of LAPD, getting trained by Talia Bishop. As an ambitious police officer, Bishop aspires to get promoted to the post of detective and only sees the same as her stepping stone to becoming the chief of police. Gradually, Bishop becomes Nolan’s mentor and the two of them share an appealing professional relationship, which meets a dead end when Afton Williamson, who plays Bishop, left the show. Despite being a main cast member, Williamson departed from the show just after the first season. If you are curious about the reason behind the same, you are at the right place!
Why Did Talia Bishop Leave The Rookie?
Afton Williamson, who plays Talia Bishop, left ‘The Rookie’ after allegedly being subjected to bullying, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault while working on the series. “I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie,” Williamson shared in the wake of her departure. “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,Demetrius Grosse,and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept.Head, Sally Ciganovich escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party,” she added.
As per Williamson, the showrunner of the show Alexi Hawley didn’t take any necessary actions against Demetrius Grosse, who plays Detective Kevin Wolfe in the first season. “Ciganovich 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,” the actress further added. Williamson revealed that she was “assured that Grosse would be fired,” only for him to continue being a part of the cast. When she enquired about the same to Hawley, the showrunner admitted to the actress that “Grosse had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved.”
Williamson was asked to return to the second season of the show but the actress decided that it was time for her to leave. “I was asked to return this [second] 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,” she added in the same post.
Where is Afton Williamson Now?
After Afton Williamson’s exit, an investigation into the allegations she made was initiated by eOne, the production company which produces the show for ABC. “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 upon the conclusion of the investigation.
The conclusion of the investigation was unacceptable for Williamson, who reacted to the same through a post she shared in September 2019. “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,” Williamson shared. “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 added.
After leaving ‘The Rookie,’ Williamson hasn’t been a part of any other television shows. Meanwhile, she appears in the 2019 film ‘Otherhood,’ in which she plays the character Julia. She was also a part of the cast of the 2020 film ‘Still Here.’ Williamson has been advocating for a safe working environment in filming sets and productions while raising her voice against discrimination and harassment in workplaces.