“The Rookie” Season 2: Is ABC Promising… The Head of Nathan Fillion?!?

With ABC‘s The Rookie looking to start its second-season shift on Sunday, September 29, the network took to Twitter to post a tease of a “big announcement” breaking on Monday, September 16, at 3 p.m. ET. So of course, a blatant promo cliffhanger like that deserves mindless specualtion…

Did ABC wise up and move the series from a Sunday night “death slot”?

Are we finally getting that long-awaited The Rookie/Firefly crossover that was rumored all season?

Did ABC find a way to do right by Afton Williamson (more below), which means Bishop is coming back?

A trailer?

Or is is something far more sinister – with the answer in front of our eyes this whole entire time?

https://twitter.com/therookie/status/1173314397088862208?s=12

Dear Lord! ABC’s “The Rookie” is Bringing Us the Head of Nathan Fillion!

the rookie
ABC

On the same day ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke responded to The Rookie star Afton Williamson‘s allegations that she was not returning for the second season – alleging racial bullying and discrimination as well as instances of bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, the actress returned to Instagram to name names.

In the following post (followed by the original post from over the weekend, revised to include the individuals’ names), head of the show’s hair department Sally Nicole Ciganovich is accused of making “racial discrimination / racially charged inappropriate comments”and sexual harassment from an recurring guest star, while the actress identifies Demetrius Grosse as the recurring guest star who sexually harrassed her.

View this post on Instagram

To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE❤️👊🏾🙏🏾

A post shared by Afton Williamson (@therealaftonw) on

To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE❤️👊🏾🙏🏾

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

Burke addressed the matter at the network’s Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press event, expressing frustration over not having more answers (though Entertainment One “initiated an independent investigation”):

"The Rookie" Season 2: Afton Williamson Not Returning; Alleges Discrimination, Bullying, Sexual Harassment/Assault

“I am frustrated, I don’t have a lot of answers; I wish I had more. I heard at the end of June that there were allegations and an investigation has been launched. We are waiting for answers… As soon as we learn more, we will make determination based on what’s found.”

Burke expressed frustration at not having more answers but hoped that the investigation would yield “results that are independent and trustworthy.” Burke would not comment on the claim that The Rookie executive producer / showrunner Alexi Hawley did not act on Williamson’s complaints – referring back to the current investigation with the hope that it “will guide us how to handle similar situations in the future.”

[Note: Check out Bleeding Cool’s Erin Wilhelm‘s perspective on ABC’s handling of the matter here.]

the rookie
THE ROOKIE – ABC’s “The Rookie” stars Richard T. Jones as Sergeant Wade Grey, Alyssa Diaz as Angela Lopez, Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, Eric Winter as Tim Bradford, Melissa O’Neil as Lucy Chen, and Titus Makin Jr. as Jackson West. (ABC/Andrew Eccles)

Six months into his career as a cop, John Nolan, the oldest rookie in the LAPD, has used his life experience, determination and sense of humor to keep up with rookies 20 years his junior. But as he embarks on the second half of his rookie year, Nolan will be put to the test by a host of new challenges, romantic relationships and deadly criminals, as he looks to figure out what kind of cop he ultimately wants to be.

The Rookie season 2, episode 1 “Impact: Danger is ever-present as the officers of the Mid-Wilshire precinct grapple with the aftermath of a plotted attack on the city of Los Angeles, leaving Officer Bradford fighting for his life in the season two premiere. Flash forward two weeks and the rookies receive the shocking results of their latest training exam, leaving one officer questioning what the future holds. Meanwhile, tension develops at home as Nolan and Lopez advance in their relationships with Jessica and Wesley. Written by Alexi Hawley and directed by Mike Goi.

(ABC/Tony Rivetti)

From writer and executive producer Alexi Hawley, ABC’s The Rookie stars Nathan Fillion as John Nolan, Alyssa Diaz as Angela Lopez, Richard T. Jones as Sergeant Wade Grey, Titus Makin as Jackson West, Melissa O’Neil as Lucy Chen, and Eric Winter as Tim Bradford. The second-season premiere also stars Shawn Ashmore (Wesley Evers), Sarah Shahi (Jessica Russo), and Mark Cuban as himself.

About Ray Flook

Proudly serving as TV Editor, Ray started with Bleeding Cool in 2013 as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought aboard as staff in 2017. Counting John Cusack as his pop culture "spirit animal," his "word fu" stays strong as he continues trying really hard to be the sheppard...

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