On the same day ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke responded to The Rookie star Afton Williamson's allegations that she was not returning for the second season – alleging racial bullying and discrimination as well as instances of bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, the actress returned to Instagram to name names. In the following post (followed by the original post from over the weekend, revised to include the individuals' names), head of the show's hair department Sally Nicole Ciganovich is accused of making "racial discrimination / racially charged inappropriate comments"and sexual harassment from an recurring guest star, while the actress identifies Demetrius Grosse as the recurring guest star who sexually harrassed her.
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❤️👊🏾🙏🏾
Burke addressed the matter at the network's Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press event earlier this week, expressing frustration over not having more answers (though Entertainment One "initiated an independent investigation"):
"I am frustrated, I don't have a lot of answers; I wish I had more. 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 determination based on what's found."
Burke expressed frustration at not having more answers but hoped that the investigation would yield "results that are independent and trustworthy." Burke would not comment on the claim that The Rookie executive producer / showrunner Alexi Hawley did not act on Williamson's complaints – referring back to the current investigation with the hope that it "will guide us how to handle similar situations in the future."
[Ed. Note: Special mention to Bleeding Cool's Erin Wilhelm for some great behind-the-scenes work on the named "recurring guest star"]