While there are countless reasons an actor will move on from a role, the circumstances surrounding Williamson’s departure are unfortunately all too familiar in the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood. She alleged on Instagram on August 4, 2019, that she experienced racism and sexual assault.
“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,” she wrote in her post. “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 actress continued.
In September of 2019, USA Today reported that ABC hired third-party investigators to uncover what really happened behind the camera. Using 400 hours of interviews, witness statements, and video from the set, the investigation concluded no misconduct was found. In a statement detailing the findings, “The Rookie” production company eOne said, “As a result of the independent investigation, we have concluded that those identified in Ms. Williamson’s allegations did not conduct themselves in an unlawful manner or demonstrate behavior inappropriate for the workplace.”
Williamson responded, saying the results were heartbreaking. She expressed sadness at the supposed lengths taken to “Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth,” describing them as “far greater than those taken to Protect and Maintain a Safe Working Environment for employees.” Williamson was replaced by Mekia Cox, who has appeared in 45 episodes so far as former undercover detective Nyla Harper.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).