Afton Williamson in The Rookie (2018)

The Rookie‘s Afton Williamson Identifies Guest Star Who Allegedly Harassed Her

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Over the weekend, actress Afton Williamson announced that she’d quit her role on ABC’s The Rookie because of racial discrimination and sexual harassment on set that was perpetuated by a guest star and a staff member, and was ignored by the showrunners. At first, Williamson didn’t name names, but she recently named those who she alleged made her time at The Rookie such a terror.

Williamson called out “racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments” from the head of the show’s hair department, Sally Nicole Ciganovich, and sexual harassment from a recurring guest star, who she has identified as Demetrius Grosse in an Instagram post where she thanks fans for standing behind her.


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❤️👊🏾🙏🏾

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

Grosse is known for playing Baron Samedi in NBC’s Heroes and played a series regular on The Rookie named Det. Kevin Wolf in five episodes of the show. As for the allegations towards the head of the hair department, Black actresses (and actors) have been vocal about how inexperienced a lot of professional hair people are when it comes to Black hair and makeup, and it is often left to the actor themselves to correct some of the bad work that is done.

According to Jezebel, Monday morning at the network’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, ABC president Karey Burke said that she is “waiting for the results of that investigation” to take place. “At that time, those answers and those conclusions will help guide us about how to handle those situations in the future, if in fact there has been some sort of communication breakdown. I don’t have any more answers than that right now.”

Another woman leaving a job because of a showrunner’s inability to protect their actresses.

(via Jezebel, image: ABC)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.