New details have emerged as to why Jason Mitchell was dropped from The Chi.
A week after news surfaced that Mitchell was fired from the Showtime series, season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd has come forward to allege “everyone was well aware” of issues surrounding the actor and that she had her own personal experiences with his “rage.”
As Urban Hollywood 411 reported last week, Mitchell was terminated amid multiple allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior.
Shortly before losing his job on The Chi, he was fired from the Netflix film Desperados in April, following an investigation into an unspecified off-set incident. Mitchell’s agent and talent manager also recently parted ways with the actor.
Floyd, the series’ current showrunner, told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday that she too was targeted by Mitchell after she tried to curtail his alleged inappropriate behavior on-set, which is said to have involved at least two actresses.
Floyd claimed that after learning of the actor’s alleged sexual harassment involving actress Tiffany Boone, who played his on-screen girlfriend Jerrika, she set up multiple meetings with Human Resources (HR) to address the situation.
Furthermore, the veteran producer (Empire, Falling Skies, Private Practice) claimed that the series’ executive producer and creator, Lena Waithe, was informed of Mitchell’s conduct during season one, but the actor was still allowed to return for the second season.
“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 told THR. “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.”
She continued: “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.”
Floyd alleges Mitchell began to act inappropriately with her.
“As showrunner, I did everything I could to deal with his behavior, by speaking with the studio’s HR department multiple times and instructing one actress to call HR herself, before I became a target of his rage and inappropriateness, and had to report him to HR, as well,” she stated.
On May 20, details emerged that Boone was one of “several actresses on the series who had issues with Mitchell.” She reportedly said she felt unsafe and eventually left the show. Mitchell, who played Brandon, remained on the show following Boone’s exit. He had been expected to remain for a planned third season until his firing.
Showtime has maintained that it was not made aware of the issues surrounding Mitchell until he was terminated, because the show falls under the domain of production company Fox 21.
A third season of the show has been been approved, but Floyd won’t be returning as showrunner.
It’s not immediately clear why Mitchell was allowed to remain on the show in light of the misconduct allegations against him, or exactly when Waithe knew about the claims. She didn’t comment on these questions Tuesday, but she did praise Boone for being “brave.”
“I think Tiffany is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman,” she said in a statement to THR. “I wish her nothing but success in the future. I look forward to getting back to work on season three.”
Waithe has been outspoken about Hollywood’s sexual harassment epidemic and is involved with the Time’s Up movement.
Mitchell, who has since been replaced by New Girl’s Lamorne Morris, has yet to comment on the claims against him.