The Rookie goes on. When Afton Williamson deciding to leave the drama following the end of season 1, ABC was left to figure out a way to write off her character, Officer Talia Bishop. The Sunday, September 29, premiere picked up two weeks after the finale and John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) was left to find his way without his training officer.
“It’s not going to be quite the same without Talia,” he said during the episode. It was then revealed that Bishop had taken a job at ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) after lying about her brother.
That was all that was said about Talia’s absence during the episode.
In August, the actress, 34, announced that she would not be returning to the ABC police drama, making multiple allegations about both cast members and the show’s hair department. She detailed the allegations in a lengthy Instagram post, claiming she received “racial discrimination from the hair department” and “bullying from executive producers” while shooting the pilot.
“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,” Williamson wrote in the post. “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 any of the producers.”
She continued: “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.”
Production company eOne ordered an investigation into her claims and in September, revealed the results showed that “those identified in Ms. Williamson’s allegations did not conduct themselves in an unlawful manner or demonstrate behavior inappropriate for the workplace.”
Grosse, 38, responded to the investigation result in a tweet. “As you can imagine, it’s been a very challenging time,” he wrote on Twitter on September 20. “I am grateful to my family, friends and colleagues who have been so supportive. I will continue to be an assertive advocate for the respect, acknowledgment and advancement for women both in and out of the workplace. Blessings.”
The Rookie airs on ABC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.
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