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'The Rookie' actress Afton Williamson names alleged abusers after quitting the show

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Actress Afton Williamson said over the weekend that she quit the ABC show The Rookie because she had experienced racial discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault there, and now she’s identified the people she’s accusing.

The 34-year-old actress, who has also appeared on episodes of HBO’s The Night Of and several network dramas such as Jennifer Lopez’s Shades of Blue, said Demetrius Grosse, a recurring guest star on The Rookie, sexually harassed her. She alleged that she’d been racially discriminated against and sexually assaulted by Hair Department Head Sallie Ciganovich.

Williamson had previously accused the showrunner, Alexi Hawley, of failing to take her complaints to the human resources department.

Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to ABC, Ciganovich, Grosse and Hawley for comment.

“I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way,” Williamson shared Monday as part of a lengthy message on social media. “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.”

She said that she had recognized that she’s a survivor and encouraged other survivors to use their voice as well.

“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,” Williamson said. “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 wrote in her earlier statement that the human resources protocol wasn’t followed in her situation and that Grosse and Ciganovich had been allowed to stay at the show long after she reported inappropriate behavior.

In addition to her television work, Williamson appears alongside Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman in the new Netflix movie Otherhood.

Bassett was one of the many who congratulated Williamson on sharing her story: “I’m SO proud of you and stand COMPLETELY in support of you. Speak your truth and speak it LOUD! xoAB,” the Oscar-nominated star wrote.

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