We now have confirmation about exactly how “The Chi” will deal with the exit of the Showtime drama’s former star Jason Mitchell: they’re going to kill his character.
“There is a lot of great life in ‘The Chi’ and there’s also death in ‘The Chi’ and that’s how we’ll be dealing with it,” Showtime Networks co-president of entertainment Gary Levine told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday.
When a reporter followed up with the question, “So he’ll be killed off?” — referring to Mitchell’s character, Brandon Johnson — Levine responded with a nod.
Mitchell was fired from the Lena Waithe-created Showtime drama back in May — in addition to being dropped from the Netflix film “Desperados” — following complaints about his behavior from his co-stars, including “The Chi” actress Tiffany Boone, who played Mitchell’s on-screen girlfriend. By then, the show had already been renewed for a third season.
While details about the actor’s reported behavior have not been made public, “The Chi” Season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd said in a statement that the issue had been brought to Waithe’s attention and the studio behind the show, Fox 21, even before production on the second season began.
“When I took the helm in Season 2, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from Season 1, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it,” Floyd said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “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.”
“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,” Floyd continued.
Waithe issued this statement to The Hollywood Reporter in May: “I think Tiffany is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman. I wish her nothing but success in the future. I look forward to getting back to work on season three.”