Jason Mitchell was let go from “The Chi” in May due to allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the set of the Showtime series, but the actor’s abrupt departure wasn’t able to be addressed in the series as the firing occurred after production on the second season had wrapped.
During the cable outlet’s session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles on Friday, Showtime president of entertainment Gary Levine confirmed that Mitchell’s character, Brandon, will be killed off.
“There is a lot of great life in ‘The Chi’, and there’s also death in ‘The Chi’, and that’s how we’ll be dealing with it,” Levine said, as reported by Deadline.
During the Showtime executive session, Levine and fellow president of entertainment Jana Winograde addressed the allegations and Mitchell’s subsequent firing.
As Deadline reported at the time, Mitchell had undergone training after allegedly inappropriate behaviour involving “The Chi” co-star Tiffany Boone, but was let go from the series after an additional incident that took place during filming of the Netflix movie, “Desperados”, from which he was also fired.
“We were made aware at the time that the allegations were made,” Winograde said. “We are not the lead studio, the lead studio is Fox, but even when we are not lead studio we tend to be involved and were made aware of the allegations. They conducted a thorough investigation. After that investigation, we all made the decision together that it was appropriate at that time to give him some training and guidance on appropriate behaviour on set.”
Meanwhile, Showtime also made the decision to cancel its comedy “SMILF” due to allegations lodged against series creator/star Frankie Shaw, and Levine admitted that the on-set inexperience of “new voices” can be problematic.
“There is a learning curve; one can play it safe and go with the tried and true, but you are never going to get new voices,” Levine said.
“We are all figuring this out in the industry and trying to put the right support mechanisms in place with more experienced people around them, above, below as needed,” he added. “These are delicate situations; we are dealing with young, talented people’s careers. We investigate thoroughly and confidentially and we act appropriately. That series [‘SMILF’] is no longer on air, and Jason is no longer on the show.”
No premiere date has been set for the third season of “The Chi”, but it’s expected to premiere in early 2020.