Angela Bassett, others show support for Afton Williams on discrimination, harrassment claims

The former co-star of ABC's 'The Rookie' has garnered the backing of others in the industry after she spoke out, saying she was the victim of mistreatment

Afton Williamson attends the Viacom Winter TCA Panels and Party on January 13, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Viacom)

Angela Bassett has been added to the list of actresses who have publicly showed their support for “The Rookie” actress, Afton Williamson after she made multiple claims of racial discrimination, sexual assault and harassment that she claims were ignored by showrunners.

Williamson, 34, made a post on Instagram earlier this week announcing that she will not return to the ABC show and she also thanked those who have supported her.

Bassett made a comment stating, “I’m SO proud of you and stand COMPLETELY in support of you. Speak your truth and speak it LOUD!” 

READ MORE: Afton Williamson calls out ‘The Rookie” co-star she alleges sexually harassed her

Bassett and Williamson are fellow co-stars in the movie, Otherhood, which debuted on Netflix on Friday.

Actresses, Angela Lewis from Snowfall and Kimrie Lewis from Single Parents’ also shared messages under the post.

In the post, Wiiliamson explicitly named the people who were involved in the incidents including Sally Nicole Ciganovich, who is the head of the show’s hair department and Demetrius Grosse, who is being accused of sexual harassment, according to


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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. 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. 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 the any of the producers. 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. Now is the best time in the world to be a woman and I have a platform so it’s time to use my Voice. Strength comes from within. It comes from Above. “Greater is He that is within Me than he that is in the world” ❤️??

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

Investigations regarding the incidents started in June, according to ABC President Karey Burke.

Burke revealed at Television Critics Association summer press tour that she is “waiting for the result of the investigation” and there are also not many answers regarding what took place and what the outcome will be, Variety reports. She also shared her thoughts about her trust of the actual investigation. 

“I can trust the investigation because it’s being done by an independent hired party. I’m hopeful that those results will be independent and trustworthy,” Burke said. “At that time, those answers and those conclusions will help guide us about how to handle those situations in the future, if in fact there has been some sort of communication breakdown. I don’t have any more answers than that right now.”

READ MORE: Afton Williamson calls out ‘The Rookie” co-star she alleges sexually harassed her 

ABC and eOne both co-produce the show released statement that they “initiated an independent investigation” regarding the situation. 

“The allegations involve a production from Entertainment One. In late June, eOne made us aware and informed us that they launched an investigation that is ongoing,” a spokesperson for ABC said. “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”