While ABC’s hit show The Rookie stars Nathan Fillion, the series features more of an ensemble cast centering around three rookies; John Nolan (Fillion), Lucy Chen (Melissa O’Neil) and Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.). Fortunately, all three of them will continue on the show for Season 2, but The Rookie will look noticeably different this fall as two key players have left the show.
The first isn’t a surprise to fans of the show. Last March in the episode titled Greenlight, it was revealed that the tough but compassionate Captain Anderson (Mercedes Mason) was killed during an ambush that involved John Nolan. There is little doubt that Nolan won’t still be reeling from her death in season 2, but unfortunately, he won’t be able to lean on his training officer anymore either.
On August 4, Deadline reported that Afton Williamson, who played Talia Bishop had quit the show due to “systematic racism/racially charged comments, bullying, and sexual harassment.” She claimed that she received comments that were inappropriate from the hair department and bullying from the executive producer of the show.
The next day, Williamson named those who harmed her on Instagram saying, “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.” Grosse played the recurring character, Detective Kevin Wolfe.
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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❤️👊🏾🙏🏾
Said ABC Studios in a statement, “The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One. In late June, eOne made us aware and informed us that they launched an investigation that is ongoing. The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”
So where does that leave the show? Alexi Hawley, the showrunner for The Rookie shared a few thoughts with TV Line at the San Diego Comic-Con. According to him, when her character failed to mention about her brother who was a felon on her police academy personal history questionnaire and was reprimanded for it, she knew that she was never going be treated fairly again.
“She was never going to get a fair shake at the LAPD. So ultimately she’s transferring over to a federal agency. There she can start with a clean slate and hopefully rocket to the top of the ladder,” said Hawley. “Obviously, Talia was a huge part of our show and a great part of our show.”
Season 2 of The Rookie is set to premiere on Sunday, September 29 on ABC.