Lena Waithe responded to reports that she ignored sexual misconduct allegations against actor Jason Mitchell on the set of her TV drama series The Chi.

Waithe, who is a male identified lesbian (MIL), is accused of turning a blind eye to the typical aggressive, hyper-sexual male behavior that she identifies with.

Mitchell was recently fired from The Chi amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with several female co-stars, including his onscreen girlfriend, Tiffany Boone.

Boone complained to Human Resources about Mitchell's inappropriate behavior and she allegedly felt unsafe on the set.

At times her fiancé, actor Marque Richardson ("Dear White People"), came to the set when Boone shot scenes with Mitchell, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Boone, 31, eventually asked to be released from her contract to pursue other acting opportunities.

Season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd says Waithe - and everyone else on the set - knew about Mitchell's misconduct and the multiple complaints filed by actresses on the show.

In a public statement last year, Waithe, 35, said she was taking steps to handle the complaints against Mitchell, whom she was fond of and treated like one of her boys.

"I've been very involved in Time's Up and that movement, and for season two, we're making sure that women feel safe," Waithe told The Hollywood Reporter in June 2018. "[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."

But Mitchell's job was safe going into season 3, and he was only terminated by Showtime after he allegedly sexually harassed 2 Mexican actresses on the set of Netflix's "Desperados".

Waithe, a radical lesbian who has been hyper critical of society's "heteronormative" standards, now says she regrets not handling the situation differently.

In a phone-in interview with NY radio station The Breakfast Club, Waithe said she took steps to rectify the problem, but she had no power to fire Mitchell.

"The idea of me hearing something and not doing anything just isn't true," she said.

The Chi creator reveals she spoke to Boone directly and admitted she felt "awful" about her "unpleasant" experience, and decided that hiring a "woman of color" as showrunner would be one way to "change the attitude and the environment on that set".

She also said she took Mitchell aside to confront him about the way he allegedly treated his female colleagues, but she ultimately relied on showrunner Floyd to take up the issue with Fox's human resources officials.

"I wish I would have just reached out to Tiffany on my own," she said, contradicting herself more than once. "I trusted somebody to do my job, but what I wanted to do was trust my showrunner at the time. The situation wasn't handled appropriately."

But Floyd said Waithe was "very involved at the studio and network level" and she could have done more to help Boone.

Waithe admitted she had a "strong relationship with the studio," but "that's just kinda how things go."

She said Mitchell never treated her any differently and she never had an inappropriate interaction with him. Waithe stuttered badly when radio host Charlamagne reminded her that Mitchell probably looked at her - an aggressive MIL lesbian - as one of his homies.

"It doesn't matter... For anyone to say I would stand by while a woman is being mistreated or harassed and not doing anything is just not true, it's not who I am," Waithe added. "I was trying to put people in power to change, but ultimately that wasn't the answer. I'm always the answer and that's the biggest lesson I've learned in all of this."

Mitchell has yet to comment on the allegations. In addition to losing two high-profile acting gigs, he was also dropped by his manager, agent and lawyer. On Wednesday, he was removed as a nominee for a top acting trophy at the upcoming MTV Movie & TV Awards.
 

 

Photos by Amy Sussman/Getty Images, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Neilson Barnard/Getty Images, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

  • Yoni7

    I bet she was such a "precious" baby when she was born/growing up.

  • Kanyade
  • Topic Influencer

    Lena smooth pissed me off with that interview yesterday. Shoulda just SAT THERE AND ATE HER FOOD. Now she is practically dead to me. She aint do NOTHING but push the blame on EVERYONE ELSE. Epic failure. https://media3.giphy.com/media/A1SxC5HRrD3MY/giphy.gif

  • Kanyade

    but "that's just kinda how things go."
    ----------
    what the harassment on set or the studio's lack of response or whatever?

    didn't watch the vidja. meh.

  • Topic Influencer

    I think she is right handsome.

  • LeeSeeCee

    Lena, take this in the spirit with which it is given... Girl BYE!! No you did NOT try and equate your butch lesbian arse as a target for your homies obvious misogynistic ways. STOP IT! You would have been better off stating that as you haven't really viewed yourself as a woman, you really didn't understand the problem to begin with BUT now you get it. You just though your boy was spitting game and getting swerved, huh.. Your fakeness came home to roost sis.. https://media3.giphy.com/media/xUOxfdHxb0mg262P4I/giphy.gif

  • Panther Charleston

    Yeah. The idea ain't true, but the reality is. I know what it's like to be trapped between a rock and a hard place. It's not always easy to do what we all say it's so easy to do. But, at some point, you gotta take action. Cause reals, I'd be licking my chippy chops if I was lawyer right now. I'd be pushing for Waithe and dude to be sued.

  • LeeSeeCee
  • Topic Influencer
  • Yoni7

    Bless her heart.

  • onelove

    she looks like her daddy..i assume

  • Tinytoon

    I turned off my radio when she started talking. Didn't want to hear anymore lies coming out of her mouth. She can hold this "L" too.

  • Wreckognize Game

    She probably will be sued by Tiffany and the 2 people she replaced with black women to help change the atmosphere on the show. I cringed when she said that in her interview. ??Hey Lena, ? sounds like discrimination.

  • MsPam

    Nah she looks like Raphael Sadiq.

  • Wreckognize Game

    Surely does

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    I laughed out loud when she said she hired a butch lesbian to keep the men in check next season. ??

  • Carrington

    1) MIL (Male identified lesbian) - is that really a thing?
    2) By acknowledging this, she just opened herself (and the production company) up to a lawsuit
    3) The actress he harassed doesn't necessarily have "it", according to those pictures, so I don't see a huge career in Hollywood for her - it's probably in her best interest to get those coins
    4) It's really easy for me to believe that Lena overlooked this behavior because she was probably trying extra hard to be "one of the boys" throughout life and this behavior is likely not something she would see as a "big deal".
    5) If I were an actor and getting fired from a show and still had to film scenes - my attitude is too bad to show up and still be professional. I'm walking slow, talking slow, my character from the projects in Chicago and I'm speaking with an English accent. Naw cuh... send me home. I ain't getting fired and being nice about MY goodbye.

  • tintin

    this bish is all over the place.

  • Marlika

    She’s only sorry because of the out come of everything. Stud lesbians are the worse!! I had one as a director who used to hit on me? and when I didn’t heed to her advances she started targeting me. I remember going to HR on several occasions and nothing was done. The black bish who was the assistant HR director act like she didn’t believe me, like a woman is not capable of sexually harassing anyone. The HR director didn’t get involved until the end, at that point I decided to quit before I caught a case for putting hands on that director. ?. It’s sad that black woman are ignored when things happen to us. We have to go through hell to get our voices heard. ?

    Something about Lena rubs me the wrong, not so much that she’s an annoying. She reminds me of one of those so called pro blacks folks that’s married or dating a pink person ?

  • CardiB’sAbs

    Male identified lesbian? The hell?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    You can't look at her pictures and see that?

  • Topic Influencer

    Lena also pissed me off when she said dont go see Black Panther....wanted everyone to go see Crazy Rich Asians INSTEAD. On some we must support ALL people of color...on some kumbaya type CRAP. I let that slide. But your ass hurt a black woman with your indifference. What a damn it asshole she is.

  • Renee26

    Is that the better term for "butch" or "stud" now?

  • Renee26

    All these new acronyms

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    "MIL (Male identified lesbian) - is that really a thing?"

    MIL replaces aggressive stud, butch, etc.

  • Renee26

    Giggles

  • CardiB’sAbs

    I see she likes to shop in the mens section

  • Kanyade

    Lena also pissed me off when she said dont go see Black Panther
    -----
    https://media0.giphy.com/media/KFt2DA9T82paOA1Yci/giphy.gif

    honestly didn't even know who she was until that spielberg film, Ready Player One or whatever.

    Crazy Rich Asians was just o-kay, in my opinion. Black Panther was/is better and more impactful.

    I don't always agree with the kumbayaying of all POCs together when Black folk get a chance to finally shine on their own. I don't like that.

  • Renee26

    I tried to listen but I can't listen past 5min of this interview

  • oshh16

    Raphael looks better.

  • LeeSeeCee

    Finally saw CRA and it was 'meh', full of stereotypical asian behaviors.. Glad I waited for it to show up on HBO. Now BP, I watch at least once a week. Fan-f*cking-tastic film making. Wakanda forever!!!

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    That lesbian lady looks like a pervert her self and I bet she have made some unwanted advances on women...

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    Thing is all the other POC all dislike blacks

  • Wreckognize Game

    I didn’t want her to keep saying she replaced those white people with the black ladies and butch lesbians. She was talking too much. Hopefully she can’t be sued though?

  • Queen B

    Nigga get a little bread and ctfu lol damn shame

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    Gay men in position do the same thing at my old job they used to go after those younger guy who didn’t have a lot of money.. and HR never do anything untill somebody ass beat or if White mad about something

  • Rayscoty

    I don't know who the top or bottom in the first photo..

  • KcoolMuziq

    Although 'The Chi"(my favorite show at the moment) has some OUTSTANDING actors on there. Jason was CLEARLY the breakout star of it. Besides the kids on there(whom can possibly carry there own show).
    I can understand why Lena(whom I wouldn't mind working with) hesitated to have Jason fired. His screen presence is undeniable.
    Emmy award winner Lena(whom guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel last week) is currently the media darling right now and has her"hands" in EVERYTHING.

    She's smart,gifted,captivating,fearless,articulate,demanding & narcissistic.
    All the qualities I LOVE in a person. She has swung open the door for change in the industry and it will NEVER be the same

  • MoneyMillz

    What Tiffany's man did is what Duane Martin should of done when Martin started acting up with Tisha.

  • RespectSelf

    So what exactly was he doing???

  • currvalicious

    Yes she does...

  • morenYAHdelsur

    I watch the show. I noticed last season their scenes together went from plentiful to scarce. I figured maybe they were working other projects. It makes sense now, they were purposely separated.

    It sounds like Lena sent him a subliminal in her quote from last summer. I’m not ok with Tiffany Boone being ignored and pacified by not filming with Jason Mitchell. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander! Where’s that TimesUp MeToo energy for her? He was reprimanded because non-black women complained. This faux unity/pc on our screens is still bullchit behind the scenes.

  • Logan Roberts

    Lena looks like an aggressive dude herself. #hideyourpanties
    #hideyourvagina

  • morenYAHdelsur

    For these reasons is why I won’t throw her away.

    What can she and production do when THE NETWORK kept him on? Why’d they keep him? Because he’s needed for the show! Lest we not forget his wave before he got here.

    Still don’t like what he did though.

  • KcoolMuziq

    It wasn't just up to Lena. She really tried to give Jason a chance to change. Plus Showtime didn't do anything to Jason until he was fired from the Netflix 'Desperado' project. I wish he could be replaced by my favorite actor Lakeith Stanfield. But he's booked.

    About Lena people just aren't use to seeing a black aggressive,assertive, woman like she is. She's very unapologetic. One thing for sure she LOVES her some women.

  • Lisa Left Eye

    I admit I've never watched the show, but honestly lena looks like the type of dyke that, were she not in Hollywood, she would behave the exact way Jason is being accused of acting. you can tell how she poses and behaves on red carpets that shes more than just a gay woman, shes a pseudo alpha Male

  • lovelygamour

    in the business too. I hate to write this but the show comes first. so I kinda need to know what actually happened. if he is mainly a jerk in between scenes or off set then he would simply be placed by himself. it seems like that set doesn't have a lot of communication going on.

    I read the actresses credits. if I was her agent/manager I would've encouraged her to stay. at least until something as big came along. this new show she is signed up for could go either way to me. I don't see it getting a lot of seasons. however, if ms boone didn't like the atmosphere she did the right thing to leave but I would've made them find me a new job. the show can write around her but replacing Mitchell will be tough. they have to go a completely different character or find an actor to take over the role.

    *"the show comes first". is a famous quote. the show comes first because a lot of people are paid from the show and you also get your next job based on "this show".

  • lovelygamour

    3. if I was her I would've made them find me a new show. the chi is her best acting, her acting isn't "sharp" so she should've blackmailed them for a new part.

    5. that's how they get you. if you act like a human you are labeled difficult and depending on your contract you can be sued for not giving it your all on the last day. then you have the staff that will bash you all over town because they are scared to lose their jobs. some actors have had their replacements shooting next door. I got slide out for a cheaper person like that. that was a f--ked up feeling. they spent too much so started buying cheaper supplies then got a few cheaper people.

  • MJF

    Ah shut up. I liked Lena until I listened to that interview on Breakfast Club. SHE KNEW and she DID NOTHING. She wants to be a man right? So it's clear she was covering this up.

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    This Chit got me pissed. Lena, you empty head! You say you wished things would have been handled differently but your name demands attention since you are the head. You decided to be the tail in this situation and keep you head low to the complaints and open to your friend. I wanted to root for you but this speaks volumes on you as a person speeding to get to greatness you forget your gender and that you too are a woman who deserves respect....sis you fukked up.

  • Dontgetdraggedhoe??

    Theres always a female helping a dude hurt another female. When i was 19 this lesbian homegirl of mine literally tried to get me drunk so her homeboy could do whatever. Lucky for me it looked fishy so i didnt drink shit nor would i go in a room with anyone she got so frustrated she walked off left me alone and i got tf out of there and left her. Never took her calls after that. Some women are evil men with twats

  • Marlika

    That irks my nerves when someone thinks they can make you do why they want and get away with it????

  • Prince Zuko

    I would hope this is not true I think dude is a great actor from the NWA movie to Superfly and now the chi. If he did he deserves to be smacked. now the Hollywood elites is gonna use his behaviors against other upcoming young black actors. SMH

  • Nicol B

    She lacks integrity! She just lies. She lied about that Met Gala coat misspelling when she should have just owned it and said, "Ish happens!"

  • Nicol B

    Exactly!

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    Well that’s a lot of black folks at jobs with supervision powers I’m soooooo glad I got out of the work force that’s god and Allah Jesus too

  • Robert lee Bennett OG

    I bet she have moelested a lot of young black women who think they will get some movie role.... just one look and you can tell she is a pervert

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    Sis, this bish is lying about little chit, why! Like knock it the fukk off. I just cannot deal with the look of this chit

  • Evillene

    "She said Mitchell never treated her any differently and she never had an inappropriate interaction with him. Waithe stuttered badly when radio host Charlamagne reminded her that Mitchell probably looked at her - an aggressive MIL lesbian - as one of his homies."

    Well, sh*t, I guess he wouldn't. First, she was his boss, and second, she looks rough enough to f*ck him up without breaking a sweat.

  • GrambosTheHealer

    ? not all are the same ?????...the ones with an identity crisis are the worst

  • Applebum

    Something about this manly looking female I don’t like. She seems demonically dark. I don’t like looking at her.

    A lot of stud lesbeans are so wicked. They try taking on the persona of a man, they go overboard. Queen Latifah is very disrespectful to women, abusively disrespectful.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    LAWD! GOOD FOR ME THAT I DON'T KNOW WHO NONE OF THESE FOLK ARE! Shat, Im good! TV is hit or miss for me these days. I ain't into fake drama! REAL LIFE IS ENOUGH TV FOR ME!!

  • Mo Laughz

    As soon as I heard "SO WHAT HAPPENED WAS.." I knew this was some spin. She so called did all this shuffling around with the crew but failed to get rid of the root of the problem. And why is she mentioning these crew members' race and orientation? All she had to do was sign a pink slip and WOW problem solved.

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    Hindsight is 20/20

  • Allihave2say

    male identified lesbian, a what?

  • more

    I thought this sort of thing only happened in regular 9 to.5 work places. I faced harrassment and i left because the managers and HR did nothing.

    HR is not your friend.

  • more

    HR and managers are not your friend. I learned that the hard way.
    If they dont do something within SHORT period of time. I would say sue or start looking for work. It makes no sense to stay an entire year waiting for HR to save the day

  • more

    Unless you have experienced harras your self. You would never recommend staying

  • morenYAHdelsur

    Question:

    What is Lena supposed to do, if the network she works for didn’t want to fire him?

  • SJ

    That's a horrible thing to do...to tell a victim of any type of sexual harassment, abuse, or misconduct to STAY. That perpetuates predatory behavior, victimization of women simply trying to work, and a hostile work environment.

    If she were to stay and the behavior worsened, you'd be the first person to blame her and say, why would she stay all this time if she was experiencing that?