One day after going public with claims that she was sexually harassed and racially discriminated against on the set of ABC police drama The Rookie, Afton Williamson is naming names.
The actress took to Instagram Monday night to identify the recurring actor she alleged sexually harassed her, and the hair department head she alleged sexually assaulted her.
“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,” Williamson said in her latest Instagram post.
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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❤️👊🏾🙏🏾
Williamson went on to thank her friends and fans, saying she was “beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support.”
She added: “I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We can stand together. Let’s change this sickness.”
As previously reported, the actress who played training officer Talia Bishop, said in a Sunday Instagram post she quit the series and would not be returning for the second season. In addition to her assault and harassment allegations, she said she was bullied by executive producers.
“Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from executive producers,” she wrote Sunday. “During the season, it continued along with sexual harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the hair dept. head escalated into sexual assault at our wrap party.”
The main cast of the series includes Nathan Fillion, Alyssa Diaz, Richard T. Jones, Mercedes Mason, Melissa O’Neil, and Eric Winter. The drama was created by Alexi Hawley, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer.
In her post, Williamson accused Hawley of failing to take her concerns to human resources.
After the bombshell post went viral, the show’s co-production company Entertainment One said Sunday it had “initiated an independent investigation” into the allegations.
Meanwhile on Monday, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke addressed the controversy during the network’s previously-scheduled executive session at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills.
“I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more,” Burke told reporters after being asked about Williamson’s allegations, according to Deadline. “I heard at the end of June that there were allegations, and an investigation has been launched. We are waiting for answers… As soon as we learn more, we will make a determination based on what’s found.”
Burke went on to say she hopes the third-party investigation launched by Entertainment One will produce “results that are independent and trustworthy.”
She added that the findings “will guide us how to handle similar situations in the future.”