Actress Tiffany Boone has plenty to celebrate these days. She is one of the stars of the new series Hunters on Amazon Prime, working alongside a legend like Al Pacino as a Nazi hunter. She also recently snagged an opportunity to take part in Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon’s upcoming Hulu drama, Little Fires Everywhere. She’s making major moves.
The actress says it’s a testament to her faith, because when she made the decision to leave behind Lena Waithe’s hit Showtime series The Chi in 2018, she didn’t know what her future would hold.
In an Instagram post she made on President’s Day, Boone went into lengthy detail about how she came to the decision to leave the project she cared so much about and was able to find greener pastures and peace of mind.
“It’s May 2019 and I’m watching a breathtaking sunset through the windows of my temporary Brooklyn apartment. I’d been home for a few hours after a short day of filming a new project. In full transparency, I was aware that some news was coming, but work had allowed me to focus elsewhere. I’d heard whispers that my previous co-star had been fired from a new project and subsequently fired from the show we worked on together. I knew that there were rumors and accusations swirling, but I did not think that the media, or for that matter social media, would make me the focus of any stories,” she wrote. “I had finished my time on The Chi in November of 2018 and had already been working on a new series for several months. I felt as if I had moved on. Ah, blissful ignorance.”
Boone went on to talk about the reality that we all sometimes work a job that isn’t the best situation. In her mind though, she didn’t want to compromise her values and happiness just to stay on The Chi, though it wasn’t an easy decision to make. She loved Chicago and the story she was telling playing Jerrika Little. She also worried she wouldn’t be able to find work again but had to take that leap of faith.
“I had faith that once I took that leap I would be guided wherever I was supposed to go.”
From there, she was blessed with the aforementioned opportunities, and is grateful for where she is compared to where she was when she left the show behind.
“I remember crying on my couch in Chicago the moment I realized what I was being called to do, fearful of what was next” she said. “I’d already spoken to HR and high-level producers about a few of my concerns after season one. I returned for season two, feeling assured that HR training would set the show on the right track. However, once we started filming, I quickly realized that not everyone was interested in creating a work environment that was conducive to each person feeling safe, seen, and heard. I felt that if I didn’t speak up, other voices that were trying to be heard would be silenced. After additional conversations with HR, I asked to be released from my contract.”
The actress, who said she wouldn’t share the details of “everything I encountered along this journey” to avoid an unhelpful “he said, she said” situation (she said she’s read stories about her situation that had both “some truths and some untruths”) then noted that she was working on a “path of healing.” She is working to forgive those who who did wrong by her and herself she said, for staying in a situation that for so long wasn’t healthy for her. But she’s in a good place now and not allowing what has occurred to define her or her career.
“The entire experience has inspired me to continue to be a part of a changing tide in this industry – to show up to sets knowing the power of my own voice, to use that voice to speak up for myself and others, and to only place trust in leaders who encourage the same,” she added.
Boone’s story became public knowledge as she noted after Mitchell was dismissed from the Netflix film Desperados following similar accusations of inappropriate behavior on set, The Chi, and then axed by his agency, UTA. She left the Showtime hit after Season 2.
While Mitchell has denied being sexually inappropriate with Boone during their time on the series (though he did admit he let anger get the best of him at times), show creator Waithe said she felt like she wanted to make things right with Boone because of how things played out.
“I want to make things right on a personal level with Tiffany,” she said last May. “She don’t deserve to be dragged. She’s someone who we should actually be protecting.”