The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 06, 2019 1:00 am


'Rookie' star quits over harassment

Associated Press

Afton Williamson, co-star of the ABC crime series “The Rookie,” said she's quitting the show because of sexual harassment and racial discrimination she experienced during the show's first season.

In an Instagram post Sunday, Williamson said that throughout the filming of the show's pilot, “I experienced racial discrimination/racially charged inappropriate comments from the hair department.”

Williamson said the treatment worsened when she was sexually harassed by a recurring guest star, bullied by executive producers and ultimately was sexually assaulted by a crew member at a wrap party.

ABC Studios responded later Sunday with a statement.

“The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One,” the network said. “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.”

Williamson, who is black, was also critical of how her claims were handled by showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley, who is white. Williamson said she filed reports on the incidents to Hawley, but they weren't seriously investigated by the network or shared by Hawley with other producers.

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told a TV critics meeting Monday that she's withholding judgment on the fate of “The Rookie” pending an investigation.

Season 2 of “The Rookie,” which stars Nathan Fillion, is set for Sept. 29.

Local show is off

The Allman Betts Band has canceled a local show.

Devon Allman has been advised by doctors that he cannot perform because of an upcoming surgery and recovery time, according to a statement from the band.

The Aug. 30 show at Sweetwater Performance Pavilion is among 31 dates affected.

Refunds will be available at the point of purchase.

Trans model for VS

Valentina Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria's Secret nearly a year after a top company official was pressured to apologize for implying trans women are off brand.

Sampaio has been posting from behind the scenes of a VS Pink campaign.

In November, marketing officer Ed Razek of parent L Brands Inc., said in a Vogue interview that the annual Victoria's Secret angels TV special would never include “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy.”

School memories

Was there a favorite class that inspired your career? Maybe you met your spouse in the hallway. Whatever your favorite school memory, we want to hear it for an upcoming story. Email Corey McMaken at or call 461-8475 by Aug. 9. 

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Actress Catherine Hicks is 68. Singer Randy DeBarge is 61. Actress Michelle Yeoh is 57. Singers Peggy and Patsy Lynn are 55. Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is 49. Singer Geri Halliwell Horner is 47. Actor Jason O'Mara is 47. Actress Vera Farmiga is 46. Actress Soleil Moon Frye is 43. Actor Leslie Odom Jr. is 38.

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