The Chi’s former showrunner is calling out show executives following the fallout of star Jason Mitchell, who was dropped from the hit series for sexual misconduct allegations.
Ayanna Floyd, who told The Hollywood Reporter that she won’t be returning for the show’s upcoming third season, said that she tried to address Mitchell’s misconduct complaints, but to no avail and with little support.
“As showrunner, I did everything I could to deal with his behavior, by speaking with the studio’s HR department multiple times and instructing one actress to call HR herself, before I became a target of his rage and inappropriateness, and had to report him to HR, as well,” she said.
News of Mitchell’s dismissal from the show went public earlier this month after his co-star Tiffany Boone chose to leave because of his conduct along with Mitchell being the subject of multiple complaints to Human Resources. According to reports, the harassment 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. At least one other actress has come forward with complaints following Mitchell’s termination.
He was also dropped by his agent and an upcoming lead role in Netflix’s western flick, Desperado.
With questions swirling about why Mitchell had even been initially greenlit to appear in season three of the Showtime show, a source close to creator Lena Waithe told The Hollywood Reporter that she only knew of Mitchell’s conduct and complaints after the show’s first season.
But Floyd, who joined the show for season two, is pushing back, telling THR that Waithe and executives were aware of the complaints much sooner than that.
“When I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it,” Floyd told The Hollywood Reporter. “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”
Floyd added that Mitchell seemed to turn on her after attempting to fix the situation.
Waithe has yet to respond directly to her former showrunner, instead choosing to praise Boone for her acting and wishing her “success in the future,” she said.
“I look forward to getting back to work on season three,” she added.
Mitchell has yet to comment on the allegations.