“The Chi” Showrunner Filed A Complaint Against Jason Mitchell, Says Everyone Including Lena Waithe Was Aware Of His Behavior: I Was A Target Of His Rage & Inappropriateness
New details have surfaced concerning Jason Mitchell’s recent controversy. As previously reported, in late April, the 32-year-old actor was fired from the upcoming Netflix movie Desperados just before shooting began. He was terminated by his agent, his manager and his lawyer, and he was also dropped from The Chi, where he starred as the character Brandon Johnson.
Sources claim that he was allegedly a problem for at least two actresses on The Chi. Two women filed a complaint including Tiffany Boone, who played Mitchell’s character’s girlfriend, Jerrika, and second-season showrunner Ayanna Floyd.
Sources allege that despite HR training, alleged conduct continued and Boone asked to be released from the series. However, Mitchell was allegedly to remain for a planned season three, despite Lena Waithe’s activism on the subject of on-set safety. She stated in 2018,
“I’ve been very involved in Time’s Up and that movement, and for season two, we’re making sure that women feel safe. [I]f you want to play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on set with an actress or anyone, I’ll happily call Showtime and say, ‘This person has to go,’ and you will get shot up and it’ll be a wonderful finale.”
A source close to Waithe says she was made aware of Mitchell’s alleged harassment only after the first season wrapped. Reportedly, the source claims that due to concerns for on-set conduct, was among one of the reasons Waithe pushed for a woman of color (Floyd) as showrunner for the second season. Still, this person initially stated that Waithe did not know the alleged conduct had continued.
Floyd paints a different picture concerning Waithe’s knowledge about Mitchell’s alleged issues. She states,
“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. 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.”
Waithe has released a statement, praising Boone:
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.
Reportedly Showtime executives learned only after Mitchell was terminated that at least one other actress besides Boone had allegedly experienced issues with him. This person says Mitchell was allowed to remain, following an HR complaint, because the belief was that he was entitled to a second chance.
Showtime, Fox 21, nor Mitchell have yet to comment. Boone has yet to respond.
Over the weekend, Jason was spotted out for the first time publicly, posing with fans.