Former Chi star Jason Mitchell responded to allegations of professional misconduct after the actor lost several acting roles, and was dropped from his management company after he was accused of inappropriate behavior on set.
In his interview with The Breakfast Club‘s DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God, Mitchell not only denied intentional wrongdoing, but he also claimed he’s still not aware of some of the allegations in detail.
“To be honest, I’m not 100 percent sure what the allegations themselves were, but I can tell you what happened,” said Mitchell in the lengthy, wide-ranging interview.
“We were in preproduction [for Netflix’s western flick Desperado] and I went out with a coworker of mine and she got drunk, and you know being the person that I am I felt responsible, you know, to make sure she got home,” he detailed.
Mitchell argued that he was concerned for his costar’s safety, given warnings that he was presented with by production. “Because they’re already telling us, like, don’t take the Ubers; don’t trust these people; don’t jump in a cab; don’t do any of that, you know what I mean? We’re in Mexico City and we’re in a foreign land and we should stick together, so I was like, Okay, this isn’t where I leave her, you know? So I make sure she got home and…it kinda all slapped me in my face.”
Mitchell said that he should have never placed himself in a situation in which he could be perceived as harassing someone. “I can’t fraternize; I just can’t hang,” he noted.
The actor also used the interview to apologize to those in the industry he’s harmed.
“If I did do anything, say anything, make anybody feel any kind of way, you have my deepest apologies, like honestly, my deepest apologies because that was never my intention to make anybody feel any sort of way,” he said. “I definitely never put my hands on somebody or anything like that.”
Mitchell also claimed that accusations made by his The Chi costar Tiffany Boone were false.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mitchell’s costar Tiffany Boone, who had previously worked opposite the actor in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, in which he played the late rapper Eazy-E, complained about his conduct on the set of The Chi.
Despite multiple complaints of harassment, it had allegedly become so bad on The Chi set that Boone’s fiancé, Dear White People actor Marque Richardson, had to come on set when she shot scenes with Mitchell.
Boone ultimately told Fox 21, which produces The Chi, that she would no longer work with Mitchell.
“They weren’t exactly specific with me about anything and I was a little baffled by that,” Mitchell claimed. “Had me and Tiffany ever had a situation where, I don’t know, if she might have felt sexually harassed, I can bet my bottom dollar that she would have told me about myself in that moment.”
He alleged that the real reason Boone left the show was because “she got to a better job basically, you know. She put in two seasons with us and she moved on to get a better job.”
Mitchell accused showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis of claiming he was “self-medicating” while shooting a scene in which he cried multiple times. Mitchell said it was because he had lost a friend that day. After Floyd Davis allegedly approached Mitchell about his reporting the incident to creator Lena Waithe, Mitchell said the conversation resulted in a “heated discussion.”
The actor hinted that the Me Too movement emboldened Floyd Davis to make statements about his character to Deadline: “I think in this situation Ayanna tried to use it as really, really ugly weapon.”
Floyd Davis previously told The Hollywood Reporter that she wouldn’t be returning for the show’s upcoming third season after addressing Mitchell’s misconduct complaints, but to no avail and with little support.
Mitchell also implied that Showtime might have been less motivated to work the situation out for financial reasons.
“They decided not to pick up my option, and of course, I’ve been on the show for what was about to be three seasons. I was nominated for awards, I was asking for more money and all these different kinds of things and they weren’t down to do it,” he said.