Ayanna Floyd, showrunner on Season 2 of “The Chi,” has spoken out about the departure of series star Jason Mitchell, who was fired last week amid reports of inappropriate behavior.
Details about Mitchell’s alleged behavior have not been made public, but Floyd said in a statement on Tuesday that the issue of Mitchell’s behavior had been brought to the attention of creator Lena Waithe 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.
It was first reported last week that Mitchell was fired from the Showtime drama — in addition to being dropped from the Netflix film “Desperados” — following complaints about his behavior from co-stars, including by “The Chi” actress Tiffany Boone, who played Mitchell’s on-screen girlfriend. The show has been renewed for a third season, but Mitchell, who was considered its lead, will not return.
Mitchell’s ouster from “The Chi” came only after he was fired from “Desperados,” in which he was supposed to co-star alongside Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp and Robbie Amell. The decision to remove him from that project, which is currently filming in Mexico, followed an investigation into an unspecified accusation regarding an off-set incident. Mitchell has also parted ways with his reps at UTA.
Representatives for Fox 21 and Waithe did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
Waithe, however, did issue a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “I think Tiffany is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman,” she said. “I wish her nothing but success in the future. I look forward to getting back to work on season three.”