×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC President Karey Burke Addresses Afton Williamson Discrimination, Sexual Harassment Claims

ABC president Karey Burke addressed “The Rookie” star Afton Williamson’s claims of racial discrimination, sexual assault and harassment.

Speaking at the network’s Television Critics Association summer press tour, Burke said that she is “waiting for the result of the investigation” and as of yet “doesn’t have many answers” as to what occurred and what the results of that investigation will be.

“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Burke began. “I learned alongside my colleagues at the end of June that there were allegations and that an investigation had been launched by eOne and I’m waiting for the results of that investigation.”

Burke was later asked whether she and the network can trust the investigation given that it is being carried out by another company, and what the repercussions will be when the results of the investigation are revealed. The ABC president said that “it would be irresponsible” of her to “conjecture” as to what action will be taken if Williamson’s allegations are found to be true.

“I can trust the investigation because its 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.”

Williamson brought the allegations to light in an Instagram post published early Sunday morning. In the post, Williamson outlined claims of bullying and harassment against the show’s hair department, an unnamed series guest star, and executive producers.

“Throughout the filming of the pilot, I experienced Racial Discrimination/Racially Charged inappropriate comments from the hair department and bullying from Executive Producers,” Williamson wrote. “During the Season, it continued along with Sexual Harassment from a recurring guest star and the racist commentary & bullying from the Hair Dept. Head escalated into Sexual Assault at our Wrap party.”

ABC and eOne, which co-produce “The Rookie,” both released statements last night saying that they had “initiated an independent investigation” into the matter.

“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 in a statement. “The safety of working environments is a top priority for us, and we take this matter very seriously.”

Williamson, who exited the show because of her alleged treatment, also stated that she repeatedly reported the incidents to series creator and showrunner Alexi Hawley, but Hawley never went to HR with any of her claims. She also stated that the head of the hair department was only fired after she reported the sexual assault “and NOT [sic] for an entire year of outward racism/racially charged language and bullying behavior in and out of the Hair and Makeup trailer.”

Reps for Hawley and series lead Nathan Fillion did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Lower lakes with small waterfalls, Plitvice

    Beta Film Boards Refugee and Drug Trafficking Thriller Series 'Amnesia'

    Beta Film, whose Mipcom lineup includes “Agent Hamilton,” “Babylon Berlin” and “Medici: The Magnificent,” has partnered with Croatian production company Drugi Plan on “Amnesia,” a six-hour thriller series about refugee and drug trafficking in the Southeast of Europe. The move adds to Munich, Germany-based Beta Film’s portfolio of Central and East European series, a growing [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Reed Hastings on the Streamer Wars: 'It's a Whole New World Starting in November'

    After dominating the subscription streaming scene for so long, Netflix is girding for a new phase in the SVOD wars with the entry of more deep-pocketed players like Disney and Apple, CEO Reed Hastings said Friday. “While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November…between [...]

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    Viacom's Channel 5 and Comedy Central Join BritBox Ahead of Its U.K. Launch

    Viacom-owned Channel 5 and Comedy Central have joined BritBox, the “best-of-British” subscription streaming service created by the BBC and ITV. The platform, already available in North America, is due to launch on home turf in Britain by year’s end. Under the deal with Viacom, shows from the U.K.’s Channel 5 can appear on BritBox following [...]

  • The-Head

    Behind the Scenes With Mediapro’s Antarctic Thriller Series 'The Head'

    On Sept. 13, the cast and crew of Mediapro’s upcoming dramatic thriller “The Head” gathered at a swanky Santa Cruz de Tenerife hotel to kick off promotional duties for this English-language series, which will wrap shooting later this month. It was day 50 of production, and the cast had been working late, rushing to get [...]

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Finally Has a Name: Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film finally has a name: Leonine. The company revealed its moniker Friday, saying that “Leonine” met its criteria of being associated with its home region of Bavaria and Munich, in southern Germany, and of [...]

  • PERFECT LIFE

    San Sebastian: Leticia Dolera on Canneseries Winner ‘Perfect Life’

    SAN SEBASTIAN —  “La Casa de Papel” (“Money Heist”) may be the most seen of Spanish series this year. Leticia Dolera’s still-to-bow “Perfect Life,” however, is the most laureled, sweeping at April’s 2nd Canneseries TV festival both best series and best special performance for its female leads, Dolera herself, Celia Freijeiro and Aixa Villagrán, from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content