More information on the misconduct allegations against Jason Mitchell—who was fired from his role as Brandon on The Chi, in addition to losing his agent, manager, lawyer and upcoming major roles—is slowly coming out.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources said Mitchell’s behavior had been a problem for at least two actresses on The Chi, including Tiffany Boone, who played his character’s girlfriend. But despite formal complaints that were filed against him, and assurances from creator Lena Waithe that “we’re making sure that women feel safe,” Mitchell was scheduled to remain in the cast for the third season, according to sources:
A source close to Waithe says she was made aware of Mitchell’s alleged harassment only after the first season wrapped. The Chi’s season one showrunner, Elwood Reid, declined to comment, but a source close to him says he was unaware of conduct issues. (Boone did not make a complaint until after work had wrapped.)
But second-season showrunner Ayanna Floyd, who also filed a complaint against Mitchell, told THR that Waithe was aware of the problems cast members had with him:
“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,” says Floyd. “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.”
Adds Floyd, “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.”
Before he was kicked off The Chi, he was fired from the forthcoming comedy Desperados:
Multiple sources say Mitchell made what one described as highly inappropriate remarks to two actresses in the film while lingering close to their quarters. “There were two incidents in four days,” says an insider. Netflix did a “quick but thorough” investigation by phone and the producers were given the green light to do what they thought necessary.