‘The Rookie’ star Afton Williamson identifies actor she says harassed her
One day after Afton Williamson abruptly announced she had quit the “The Rookie” due to sexual harassment, she turned to social media Tuesday to urge other victims of abuse to speak out.
Monday, Williamson, 34, claimed costar Demetrius Grosse, who plays Detective Kevin Wolfe on the ABC cop drama, had sexually harassed her on set. She also accused the show’s hair department boss, Sallie Ciganovich, of bullying, discriminating and sexually assaulting her in an Instagram post.
“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,” wrote Williamson on Tuesday. “A victim of social 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.”
View this post on Instagram
I will not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie. 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.The Sexual Harassment though reported directly to the Showrunner/EP remained undocumented and was not reported to HR as promised.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. HR protocol was never adhered to following the above reports given by me to my Showrunner/EP and an investigation was never issued for any of my claims. The only time I was asked to participate in an investigation was after a meeting I called in June following our Season 2 announcement. This meeting included the Showrunner and two other producers as well as my agent and SAG-AFTRA Union Rep. It was clear to all present in the meeting that the Showrunner had not shared my reports with the any of the producers. After my initial report of sexual harassment, I was assured that Grosse would be fired. I was also asked to film with him the very next day as a courtesy to the script, even though we had not begun filming the episode yet. Grosse reappeared on our call sheet at the end of the season, I was even written in scenes with him. I asked the Showrunner about this and he admitted to me that the Grosse had not been fired nor had he gotten HR involved. I was asked to return this 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. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. “Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world” ❤️🙏🏽
Prior to Grosse, 38, landing his role on “The Rookie,” he had a recurring role on the Canadian historical drama “Frontier” playing Charleston and played lead character Preach Carter on “The Brave.”
Ciganovich was the hair department head on “The Rookie,” according to IMDb. She was also nominated for an Emmy Award in 2015 for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special for “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Williamson’s post implored other victims to band together.
“We can Stand Together. Let’s change this sickness. That change starts with US.”