Actor Jason Mitchell appeared on The Breakfast Club Monday morning (Nov. 4) to give his first public interview since allegations of his workplace misconduct.
In May, the news first broke of the misconduct allegations surrounding Mitchell by actresses on The Chi (including Tiffany Boone, who portrayed his character’s girlfriend on the show) and on a Netflix film Desperados. After he was dropped from Desperados, Mitchell was subsequently dropped by his representatives and The Chi.
Later, The Hollywood Reporter ran an account of events from Ayanna Floyd Davis, the season 2 showrunner of The Chi, who said she was also a target of Mitchell’s behavior and that everyone, including Lena Waithe, was aware of what was going on. Waithe would go on to appear on The Breakfast Club as well to talk about the situation, where she said in part, “My biggest regret is I wish I would have not trusted anyone to do my job and just reached out to Tiffany on my own and ask what I can do to fix it. I trusted someone else to do my job and the truth is, can’t nobody do my job like me. I’m very blunt, I’m a chick from Chicago and I don’t play. I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus, but I wish that I could have handled the situation differently and I wish I would have done more.”
Not much is known about the specific allegations made against Mitchell from those on The Chi, just that they had to do with his behavior on the set of the show. However, Davis did go on to say that she was “a target of his rage and inappropriateness.”
On The Breakfast Club, Mitchell essentially denied all of the claims and stated that he did not know much about the allegations himself.
Mitchell spoke on the allegation that resulted in the domino effect of being dropped from his agency, projects and more. He does not name the actress, but it is believed to be either Anna Camp or Nasim Pedrad, one of his Desperados co-stars that complained about his behavior.
“To be honest I’m not 100 percent sure what the allegations themselves were, but I can tell you what happened. We were in pre-production and I went out with a co-worker of mine and she got drunk. Being the person that I am, I felt responsible to make sure she got home…we’re in Mexico City and we’re in a foreign land and we should stick together. This isn’t where I leave her. I made sure she got home and the next day it kind of all slapped me in my face. I’m not sure if her and her significant other had a situation because I did FaceTime her boyfriend to figure out how to get there and go about getting her home. I actually had a girlfriend at the time. I felt like I was doing the right thing. The next day, they said they needed to talk to me about this activity and I told them my side of the story but it felt as if there is something that I missed.” Mitchell insisted that he was never told about the allegations but said that he was “paid in full.”
“If I ever made anybody feel any kind of way, you have my deepest apologies because that was never my intention. I’ve definitely never put my hands on somebody. I think it was a series of events that led to things being weird between us [the Desperados co-star],” he said.
When asked about The Chi, Mitchell said that the only reason why he was let go from The Chi was that “Disney, who bought Showtime, saw what was happening on Desperados.” In reality, Disney did not buy Showtime. Disney, which recently completed a merger with Fox, is technically now the home of Fox 21 Television Studios, the studio home of The Chi. When asked about Boone specifically, he claimed that there was no situation between himself and the actress, and instead said the issue started with Davis. “There was a situation between me and Ms. Ayanna. My friend, Young Greatness was killed on October 17, and on that day, I got the call and I was torn apart…I was sort of using it at work because I had five scenes and in four of these five scenes I gotta cry. So, I walk back to Video Village and she asked if I was OK and I was like ‘nah, I’m not really doing OK.’ And she said ‘We just wanted to make sure you’re doing OK because we didn’t want you to go home and self-medicate.’ I’m not sure what she had heard. I took that to Lena and Lena took that to HR.” Describing he and Davis’ next interaction, Mitchell refers to it as a “heated discussion” after which he walked off.
“Lena has done nothing but create opportunities for us all. It was just painful to watch to see Lena have to save her brand from something that went on with me. Shout out to Lena Waithe, she’s still always going to be a good friend of mine,” Mitchell added. “To be honest, I really hate to say this. I’m all for the #MeToo movement, but I think, in this situation, Ayanna tried to use it as a really ugly weapon. Tiffany Boone left the show because she got a better job. She put in two seasons with us and she went on to get a better job. Anybody who knows Tiffany Boone knows that she is the epitome of a Black woman…if you try her, she will get you together, right then and there. I encourage people to be more like that. Had me and Tiffany ever had a situation in which she felt sexually harassed, she would have told me about myself in that moment.”
However, despite saying there were no issues between him and Boone, Mitchell did say that they established early in the show that they’d only have a working relationship. “Me and Tiffany have never been the best of friends, we just told each other we don’t have to laugh, kick it, skate none of that. We have our different views on things and that’s pretty much how it is. We are both people who are very opinionated. Our spirits don’t jam.” Still, he said, “Tiffany has never went to HR, Tiffany has never made a statement.” This is contrary to reports that said that Boone was among multiple actresses on The Chi that spoke to management about Mitchell. “I think it was a thing from Ayanna.”
He said if he could go back in time he would “stay home” and “get in that script.”
When Charlamagne asked Mitchell about Waithe saying she wouldn’t work with him again, he said, “It’s a very sad thing…It hurt my soul.”
Then when Charlamagne asked him straight up “is Jason Mitchell guilty of any the allegations?,” he said, “no, no…we’ll I’m not sure. I’m not going to say I’m not guilty of any allegations because I don’t know what the allegations are. If that’s what’s in question [making women feel uncomfortable], I may be guilty of that and I’m working on that every day.”
You can watch the full, nearly an hourlong interview below:
Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
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