Jason Mitchell has done his first extended interview following misconduct allegations on the set of Showtime’s The Chi, his firing from Netflix’s Desperados, and subsequent terminations by his lawyer, manager, and agent. Mitchell appeared on The Breakfast Club Monday morning.
The interview with Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy began with the 32-year-old actor referring to himself as “The Lion King” and confirming that “things are still doing good” (noting he recently got custody of his daughters) after what he’s experienced in the past several months.
“I’m not going to say I’m not guilty of any allegations because I’m not sure what the allegations are, if that makes sense,” he stated.
He started by explaining what went down, from his perspective, with regard to Desperados. Mitchell claimed his unnamed female Desperados co-star was inebriated one night and he helped her get home. However, he was later questioned about what transpired that night but was never officially accused of anything specific, according to Mitchell. Netflix then made an “executive decision” to part ways with him.
Mitchell also weighed in on the much-discussed statement by The Chi’s second-season showrunner, Ayanna Floyd Davis, where she claimed Mitchell’s misconduct allegations became an HR issue in the first season and she was made aware of them by show creator, Lena Waithe. In the recent interview, however, Mitchell denies Davis’ specific claims. Rather, he believes the true issue between them involved a “heated” discussion where Davis asked about his well-being and implied he may “self-medicate” after his good friend was killed.
“I might have unintentionally sort of intimidated her and I can take that ‘L’,” he recalled. “For me, I can definitely take my ‘L’ and say, I could have handled that better. There was a time where I could have just walked off. I didn’t have to say anything to her; I didn’t have to respond.”
When asked about any tensions between him and co-star Tiffany Boone, Mitchell admitted the two solely had a working relationship, noting that he and Boone “never have been the best of friends.” He claimed Boone would’ve stuck up for herself in the moment and that she never went to HR with a statement about his actions.
“[Tiffany] doesn’t need it to be mediated. I feel like it was a thing that came from Ayanna,” he said. “Like I said, she used this #MeToo Movement as a really, really ugly weapon.”
There were reports that Boone’s fiancé, Marque Robinson, started coming to set in response to the misconduct allegations. According to Mitchell, however, the two incidents weren’t related at all.
“I don’t think it was for me. I don’t think it was for me at all. She’s brought her boyfriend on the set several times like everybody brings family. That’s not a weird thing at all,” he said. “I honestly feel like, if you’re going to bring your boyfriend for me, you might as well go to HR. And actually, I’m cool with him, too. The last time I ran into him was in New Orleans and it was all love. I have no problems with him.”
“At the end of the day I do have to take my ‘L’ and say, I did make myself subject to these situations. Had I not went anywhere with this lady and had to drop her off at home, I wouldn’t be in this situation,” he noted, repeatedly bringing up his New Orleans roots to explain his hospitable nature. “Had I not responded to anything that went on with Ayanna, I wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m definitely just holding myself accountable and saying, you know what, I don’t feel like people don’t want to see me successful. I think people want to see me do better. The only way I can really do better is to change my actions. I can’t fraternize. I can’t hang.”
When asked if he had anger management issues, Mitchell confirmed he had undergone mental health counseling.
“I’m definitely guilty of that if that’s what’s in question, then yes,” he said in reference to any issues with Davis. “If I jumped out and made anybody feel some type of way, intimidated or anything like that, yes, I may be guilty of that. I’m working on that every day.”
When Charlamagne asked about show creator Lena Waithe noting that she’ll likely never work with him again, Mitchell did admit he was hurt by the statement, but still considers them to be good friends. He noted the two hadn’t talked in a minute, but that she did check on him as the reports circulated.
The complete Jason Mitchell interview with The Breakfast Club is available here: