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What Really Happened To Talia Bishop On The Rookie?

ABC's "The Rookie" is in its fourth season as a cop show featured around the oldest rookie in the LAPD. The series follows John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) as he navigates his first year as a police officer under his training officer, Talia Bishop (Afton Williamson). While Nolan enters his training with two other rookies, Lucy Chen (Melissa O'Neil) and Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.), much of Season 1's focus remained on Nolan and Bishop.

Williamson served as Nolan's (and the audience's) source of no-nonsense guidance and information for 20 episodes, teaching him how to be a cop both in and out of uniform. She spoke a few times about her plans of making detective and becoming the chief of police, but only alluded to her past a few times. In Episode 2, Williamson informed Nolan she was a foster child. Later in the season, it's discovered she left one of her foster brothers off of her police application because he was a convicted felon, a decision that she ultimately has to face by the season's end.

In the premiere of Season 2, "Impact," the audience discovers Bishop resigned unexpectedly from the LAPD to pursue a career with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The reason behind the change of direction for the character came out in the summer between Seasons 1 and 2. Here is the heartbreaking reason Afton Williams never returned to "The Rookie."

Misconduct behind the scenes caused her to walk

While there are countless reasons an actor will move on from a role, the circumstances surrounding Williamson's departure are unfortunately all too familiar in the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood. She alleged on Instagram on August 4, 2019, that she experienced racism and sexual assault. 

"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," she wrote in her post. "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 actress continued.

In September of 2019, USA Today reported that ABC hired third-party investigators to uncover what really happened behind the camera. Using 400 hours of interviews, witness statements, and video from the set, the investigation concluded no misconduct was found. In a statement detailing the findings, "The Rookie" production company eOne said, "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." 

Williamson responded, saying the results were heartbreaking. She expressed sadness at the supposed lengths taken to "Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth," describing them as "far greater than those taken to Protect and Maintain a Safe Working Environment for employees." Williamson was replaced by Mekia Cox, who has appeared in 45 episodes so far as former undercover detective Nyla Harper.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).