Carly Hughes has quit her series role on the ABC comedy "American Housewife" after four seasons, citing discrimination and other issues she said created an untenable workplace. Two producers, including the series creator, have subsequently left the show.
"I was no longer able to work in the toxic environment that was created on American Housewife," Hughes said in a statement Monday. The actress played Angela, a divorced lesbian mother of two and a close friend of protagonist Katie Otto (Katy Mixon), a middle-class mom in well-to-do Westport, Connecticut.
"I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination," Hughes continued. "As a black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve — to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead."
A representative for the show's production company, ABC Signature, responded in a statement to Newsday, "Carly was a valued member of the cast, and we had hoped she would return to the show this season. The concerns she raised led to positive changes to the workplace and improvements to the culture, but we respect the decision she made to move on. We wish her nothing but the best."
Deadline.com, which first reported the news, said an investigation by ABC Signature into these and other allegations from members of the show has led to creator Sarah Dunn and line producer Mark J. Greenberg leaving the series, and showrunners Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz undergoing sensitivity training.
Broadway veteran Hughes, who is in her mid-30s, has not commented on social media, other than reposting an Instagram Stories message by fellow African-American actress Bresha Webb (NBC's "Marlon," TBS' "The Last O.G.") reading, "I stand with you @carlyhughes! I'm so proud of you for sharing your truth! Keep walking sis!!!" Hughes replied, "@breshawebb I love you!"
Hughes appeared in the season-5 "American Housewife" premiere, "Graduation," which was filmed before production paused in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and aired Oct. 28. She was not in episode 2, "Psych," which ran Nov. 4, and her credit had been removed. Hughes’ cast member biography, which appeared on the show's website through at least Oct. 27, has now also been removed.