Chi Showrunner Says “Everyone Was Well Aware” Of Jason Mitchell’s Behavior, Including Lena Waithe, As He’s All Smiles Following Allegations
As was reported recently, actor Jason Mitchell was axed not only from his hit Showtime series The Chi, but was also was fired from an upcoming Netflix film called Desperados and was booted by his management and lawyer over claims of misconduct in April. There were a few people involved with both Desperados and The Chi who filed a complaint, including Tiffany Boone, who played Mitchell’s girlfriend, Jerrika, on the series, and Season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd. While Boone asked to be released from her role on the series after things reportedly didn’t improve post HR-intervention and has remained quiet, publicly that is, about what she dealt with, Floyd is opening up about her experience with the actor.
“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,” she said in a statement “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.”
A source reportedly close to Waithe told the Hollywood Reporter that while Floyd did make her aware of his behavior as Season 2 filmed, the new showrunner reportedly said she would take care of it. Floyd stated that she leaned heavy on human resources to deal with complaints about Mitchell, and claims she eventually caught his ire and alleged impropriety.
“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.
Floyd will not return as showrunner for Season 3.
As for Waithe, who told the Hollywood Reporter previously that as someone involved with Time’s Up, she would “happily call Showtime and say, ‘This person has to go,’ and you will get shot up and it’ll be a wonderful finale” when asked about how she would handle on-set issues for her own series, she issued a short statement. She focused on Boone and not on what she knew about Mitchell or the claims against him.
“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.”
Mitchell wasn’t able to be reached for comment.
It’s unclear how his career will unfold from here, but a source said, unfortunately, this isn’t the first time he’s been disciplined for aggressive behavior. While filming Kong: Skull Island, the source claimed that the actor got in a bar fight off camera in Honolulu that caused him to chip a tooth and burst blood vessels in one of his eyes, which could be seen near the end of the film. He was, in turn, assigned an individual to help look after and protect him and was told to stay out of bars.
Despite all of this controversy and the allegations against him, he seems to be doing well. He has been photographed back in his hometown of New Orleans, smiling for photos with fans. You can see those images here.