Jason Mitchell finally came out and told his side of the story when it comes to allegations of misconduct, both sexual and in terms of aggression shown by him towards co-workers, which surfaced earlier this year. If you’ll recall, he lost an opportunity to be in a film called Desperados for Netflix, he was fired as the lead character on the Showtime series The Chi, and after that, was dropped from his talent agency and representation, UTA. It certainly sounded like something unseemly had occurred for things to play out like they did in such a domino effect. However, based on the conversation he shared with The Breakfast Club‘s Charlamagne and DJ Envy, he did nothing wrong in every situation, but was still punished. Honestly, it was hard to wrap our heads around.
He claimed that he was let go from the Desperados flick because he took an inebriated co-worker home. He didn’t think he said or did anything to make her feel any kind of way in doing so, but things still became awkward between them. That was all he says occurred. Still, Netflix made a decision to remove him from the project. He said he was then dropped by UTA because most of the people working on the Netflix movie were represented by the agency, so they felt pressure to let him go.
Jason also said there was “no situation” with The Chi co-star Tiffany Boone, but that Ayanna Floyd, showrunner for Season 2, went public and spoke for Boone, claiming he sexually harassed her. He said he felt she did that because she was fired from the series after he went to HR about an inappropriate comment Floyd made about him possibly going home and self-medicating following the death of a friend of his. She approached him after he spoke to HR, which is obviously against the rules. Boone never spoke out to say the allegations were false, or true, she just thanked the public for their support. It was Lena Waithe who would say she was told of “inappropriate” behaviors on Mitchell’s part by Boone, but her only action to help that was to bring in Floyd, a Black woman, as showrunner to clean house.
As for why he lost his job on The Chi, he claims Disney heard about what was going on with Desperados, they had just bought Showtime and because he was asking for more money for the next season, they decided to let him go. He claims it had nothing to do with Boone because if she had a problem with him, she would have let him know on her own.
“She’s the epitome of a Black woman. She has no kids, she’s super successful, and if you try her, she will get you together right then and there, you know what I mean?” he said. “She not takin’ nothin,’ at all. I encourage people to be more like that, because had me and Tiffany ever had a situation where I don’t know, she might have felt sexually harassed, I can bet my bottom dollar, she would have told me about myself in that moment.”
He also claimed that it wasn’t true that Waithe or HR tried to mediate any issues between himself and Boone.
“There wasn’t any workshops that went along with that, but at the beginning of everything, they always do an HR workshop,” he said. “That’s for pretty much every production. I believe every production does this. They have someone come in and they teach you all about the workplace. Teach you how you’re supposed to handle people and talk to people and all this. So there was no actual workshops between us.”
“Me and Tiffany have never really been the best of friends. So Season 1, maybe episode 3 or 4, we just told each other, we just have a work relationship. We don’t have to laugh, kick it, skate, none of that,” he said. “Me and Tiffany have our different views on things and that’s pretty much all it is. We’re both people who are very opinionated and if we sit down and have a conversation, we can go back and forth all day, no matter if it’s about politics or the job or about whatever it may be. But our spirits don’t gel. We’re sort of two bullheaded people when it comes to our opinion on life.”
And as far as reports that her boyfriend, actor Marque Richardson, was brought on set to be a support for Boone and to somewhat be a barrier between her and Mitchell, he said that wasn’t the case — it least he didn’t think so.
“I don’t think it was for me. I don’t think it was for me at all. She’s brought her boyfriend on the set several times like everybody brings family. That’s not a weird thing at all,” he said. “I honestly feel like, if you’re going to bring your boyfriend for me, you might as well go to HR. And actually, I’m cool with him, too. The last time I ran into him was in New Orleans and it was all love. I have no problems with him.”
Overall, he put a lot of the blame for the stories surrounding he and Boone on Floyd, saying any rumors of Boone having any issues that needed to be mediated with him were made up by the axed showrunner.
“She doesn’t need it to be mediated. I feel like it was a thing that came from Ayanna,” he said. “Like I said, she used this #MeToo Movement as a really, really ugly weapon.”
He did admit though that he and Floyd had a “heated” discussion where she said she felt “threatened by me,” which he regrets.
“I might have unintentionally sort of intimidated her and I can take that L,” he said. “For me I can definitely take my L and say, I could have handled that better. There was a time where I could have just walked off. I didn’t have to say anything to her, I didn’t have to respond.”
Mitchell would go on to say that in that situation, as well as how he handled himself with the young lady on the Netflix production, he should have just stayed to himself and not interacted with his co-workers, and he’s since learned his lesson.
“At the end of the day I do have to take my L and say, I did make myself subject to these situations. Had I not went anywhere with this lady and had to drop her off at home, I wouldn’t be in this situation,” he said. “Had I not responded to anything that went on with Ayanna, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m definitely just holding myself accountable and saying, you know what, I don’t feel like people don’t want to see me successful. I think people want to see me do better. The only way I can really do better is to change my actions. I can’t fraternize. I can’t hang.”
He also noted that he also can’t hug his co-stars and co-workers when meeting or seeing them, which is something common for him.
“It feels strange to do it any other sort of way. And whether or not I shake a woman’s hand or put my arms around her, my intentions aren’t to be on no sexual weirdness, but I’ve got to protect myself,” he said. “It might just have to be a fist.”
In addition, he admitted that he may have anger management issues, but they are rooted in a lot of trauma.
“I grew up in a very violent city. That’s really all I know,” he said. “I feel like Black men especially when trauma happens to us, we don’t think it’s okay to go to therapy. We don’t think it’s okay to hug each other. Sometimes a lot of us think it’s not okay to cry. And as a result, we come off very rough, very aggressive. We a little rough around the edges. It’s a cycle. So I figured, this is the best way for me to work on myself. I’ve been working with this doctor, Tamika Bobb, who’s amazing. She’s just a really great person and allowing me to talk about all that I’ve been through. People ask me all of the time, ‘Jason, where do you find the pain?’ Well, my dad killed himself when I was 15. I’ve lost several friends before high school. My best friend was killed when I was 22, that’s why I started acting. It was a bunch that’s happened in my life.”
In his time off from working following the scandal, he ended up getting full custody of his two daughters, he has completed mental health counseling and overall, he feels good.
“I’ve been progressing,” he said. “I feel better. Talking about my issues makes me feel better.”
So does Jason Mitchell feel he is guilty of any of the allegations against him? That’s what Charlamagne asked as the interview came to a close.
“No,” he said. “Well, I’m not really sure. I’m not going to say I’m not guilty of any allegations because I’m not sure what the allegations are if that makes sense.”
He would change his tune a little, saying, again, he’s guilty of letting his anger get the best of him with some of the people he’s engaged with on-set.
“I’m definitely guilty of that, if that’s what’s in question then yes,” he said. “If I jumped out and made anybody feel some type of way, intimidated or anything like that, yes, I may be guilty of that. I’m working on that every day.”
As for what Twitter had to say about his interview, there were a lot of mixed reactions. Most people we saw felt that he was lying, but there were some who felt like he was thrown under the bus. Check out what people had to say by hitting the flip: