'The Rookie' Season 2: How Afton Williamson's Talia Bishop Was Written Out Following Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Allegations

ABC's cop drama The Rookie revealed the fate of Afton Williamson's Talia Bishop in Sunday's Season 2 premiere, following Williamson's departure from the series after allegedly facing racial discrimination and sexual harassment on set.

Williamson announced that she had quit the Nathan Fillion-led show in early August, claiming in an Instagram post that she was subjected to sexual harassment by a guest star and persistent "racist commentary & bullying" from the show's hair department.

In Sunday's Season 2 premiere, Williamson's training officer Talia Bishop was briefly mentioned by Fillion's main character, John Nolan, to explain her absence in the new season.

the rookie afton williamson
Nathan Fillion and Afton Williamson in 'The Rookie.' ABC

In a scene between Nolan and his girlfriend Jessica Russo—played by Sarah Shahi—it was revealed that Bishop had taken a job at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) after the events of Season 1. "It's not going to be quite the same without Talia," said Nolan, who was being trained by Williamson's Bishop last season.

A new character will be introduced in Season 2 to replace Williamson's mentor-like role.

Afton Williamson quits The Rookie

In an Instagram post in August, Williamson said she would not be returning for Season 2 of The Rookie after allegedly facing racial discrimination from the show's hair department and sexual harassment from recurring guest star Demetrius Grosse.

Williamson said her concerns were not formally investigated after she reported them to the show's executive producer.

"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," said Williamson.

View this post on Instagram

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

The Rookie producers eOne said earlier in September it had conducted an independent investigation into Williamson's claims and found no inappropriate behavior on set.

"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," said eOne in a statement.

"It was also concluded that the executive producers, including showrunner Alexi Hawley, addressed matters of which they were made aware promptly and in a fair and reasonable manner."

Williamson responded to the statement on Instagram, saying: "What saddens me the most is that the lengths that were taken to Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth, were far greater than those made to Protect and Maintain a Safe Working Environment for Employees."

Grosse, the actor Williamson accused of sexual harassment, said in a statement via his attorney that he had been "exonerated" of the misconduct claims by eOne's investigation.

In a tweet, Grosse added: "I will continue to be an assertive advocate for the respect acknowledgment and advancement for women both in-and-out of the workplace."

'The Rookie' Season 2: How Afton Williamson's Talia Bishop Was Written Out Following Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Allegations | Culture