Why Did Talia Bishop Leave The Rookie? ‘I Turned [Season 2] Down and I Walked’
Starring opposite Nathan Fillion in Season 1 of The Rookie, Talia Bishop failed to return to the ABC crime drama for Season 2 and hasn’t been on the show since. Why Did Talia Bishop leave The Rookie after only one season? We’ve got the answer, below.
The Rookie, ABC’s successful police drama, follows the story of John Nolan, a recently divorced man in his 40s who pursues a career as a police officer at the Los Angeles Police Department, after inadvertently helping the police stop a bank robbery. The Alexi Hawley-created series is based on the true story of William Norcross, a real officer with the LAPD who moved to L.A. in 2015 and also joined the department in his mid-40s. The show premiered in October 2018 and is currently in its fifth season. The Rookie has one spin-off, The Rookie: Feds, which debuted in 2022.
Actress Afton Williamson portrayed the role of Talia Bishop, a training officer in the LAPD assigned to the Mid-Wilshire Division. She starred alongside John Nolan (Nathan Fillion), a police officer in the same division, and served as his training officer. Bishop, who grew up as a foster child in the system, told Nolan that her childhood was “turbulent.” She said that at first, she was angry all the time, but then she eventually got past that. “The sooner you stop feeling sorry for yourself and do what has to be done, the better off you’ll be,” she said in Season 1, Episode 4, “The Switch.”
Prior to Williamson’s gig on The Rookie, she starred as the lead in 2016’s VH1 drama, The Breaks, and as Officer Wiggins in the HBO miniseries The Night Of. Other TV projects include Banshee, Homeland and Shades of Blue, as well as films Man on a Ledge and Pariah.
So, why did Taiia Bishop leave The Rookie after only a short time on the show? Keep reading to find out the reasoning behind Williamson’s exit.
Why did Talia Bishop leave The Rookie?
Why did Talia Bishop leave The Rookie? Actress Afton Williamson said that she left the show after experiencing alleged racial discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment on set. In an Instagram post on August 4, 2019, she released a statement explaining “the truth” behind her exit. “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,” she wrote in the post.
Williamson said that she reported the sexual harassment directly to showrunner and executive producer Alexi Hawley but said that the allegations were not documented and were not reported to HR “as promised.” She also noted that while the head of the hair department was fired, it happened only after the sexual assault and not a result of years of racist language and bullying behavior, she alleged. “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,” she also wrote in the post. “I turned it down and I walked.” Read the full statement, below.
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After the allegations by Williamson were made public, the production studio behind The Rookie released their findings from an independent investigation. “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,” Entertainment One said in a statement in September 2019, according to the Los Angeles Times. “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.” ABC’s co-producer, eOne, continued: “We recognize and respect that as individuals, the lens through which we view situations, interactions and comments can differ based on our experiences and perspectives. As such, we regret that Ms. Williamson’s time on the series was not a positive one for her, and we respect her decision to move on to other projects.”
An ABC spokesperson also commented on the investigation in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We are glad that eOne has completed an investigation into allegations on the set of The Rookie. We are confident that eOne takes these matters seriously and that they will continue to look for the best ways to surface concerns and address complaints,” an ABC spokesperson said in a separate statement.
A few hours after eOne released its findings, Williamson took to Instagram to relay her disappointment. “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,” Williamson wrote in the post. “My prayer is that we get to a point in this Industry where we don’t just Talk about it in 2 hour Mandatory Meetings. But we adhere to Keeping the Promises Made to Everyone on every set, Tirelessly Fulfilling their Dreams with Passion and Dedication.”
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How was Talia Bishop written off The Rookie?
How was Talia Bishop written off The Rookie? In the Season 2 premiere, “Impact,” it’s revealed that Afton Williamson’s character, Talia, had quit the LAPD to join the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a Special Agent. Her promotion at the LAPD was stalling because she would not reveal information concerning her foster brother when she originally applied to the department. Jessica (Sarah Shahi), John’s girlfriend, said that Talia was smart for “taking that job over at ATF.”
The Rookie airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
For more on primetime shows, check out our photo gallery on the best nighttime soaps ranked.