After nearly two years of other people telling their versions of her story, Tiffany Boone has spoken out about why she decided to leave Lena Waithe’s The Chi.
In November 2018, the actress abruptly left the hit Showtime series after claiming she was harassed by her fellow cast member Jason Mitchell. Reportedly, the situation was so uncomfortable for Boone that her fiancé Dear White People actor Marque Richardson, had to come on set when she shot scenes with Mitchell.
Boone revealed in a written statement posted on Instagram earlier this week that after voicing concerns surrounding Mitchell’s alleged behavior in season one to “HR and high-level producers” she was convinced she would return to a healthy work environment. “I returned for season two, feeling assured that HR training would set the show on the right track,” she wrote. Regretfully, her assurances soon faded away.
“However, once we started filming, I quickly realized not everyone was interested in creating a work environment that was conducive to each person feeling safe, seen and heard,” her statement continued. “I felt that if I didn’t speak up, other voices that were trying to be heard would be silenced.”
“After additional conversations with HR I asked to be released from my contract.”
She respectfully opted out of offering up details of her experiences with Mitchell or her employers. She added, “I know that people expect to hear details of everything that I encountered along this journey. I completely understand that desire. At this time I am, I am not in a place where I am comfortable sharing any more than I already have.”
Mitchell continues to deny her allegations, and claims to not even know that they are exactly. In an interview with The Breakfast Club last November he said, “They weren’t exactly specific with me about anything and I was a little baffled by that.”
“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 added.
This week, Boone expressed the difficulty she faced getting to the decision to walk away. “The weight of what I was leaving behind felt like a ton, but the weight of my responsibility to speak up was even heavier,” she wrote.
She also addressed the fear many Black women feel when faced with conflict in the workplace. “I wasn’t raised to quit jobs,” she asserted. “Yet a day came where I had to be brutally honest with myself about what I was willing to sacrifice just to have a job. Was I able to compromise my values, integrity, and happiness just to be employed?”
“There were people who questioned my decision. How could I be sure I would work again, especially on a project of that magnitude? I wasn’t sure, but I had faith that once I took that leap I could be guided wherever I was supposed to go,” she continued later.
“It certainly hasn’t been easy since that moment, but I refuse to allow it to define me or my career.”
Since leaving The Chi, Boone has continued to flourish in Hollywood. She’s set to star as Roxy Jones in the highly-anticipated series, The Hunters, executive produced by Oscar winner Jordan Peele. It premieres Friday.