NBC and “America’s Got Talent” is being forced to be held accountable after reports that Gabrielle Union was reportedly fired after calling out a toxic work environment. The actress had a meeting with NBC and she is now speaking out.
The 47-year-old wrote on Twitter, “We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
This might be a sign that change is coming to NBC.
Union was let go from the show on November 22 after just one season and she hired Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman last week after news of her leave became public. According to Deadline, sources who’ve worked on the show said their experience included racist jokes made by Jay Leno against Asians and staffers making inappropriate critiques about Union’s hair.
There was allegedly another instance where Union and other staffers were concerned about a white male performer portrayed Black artists on “AGT.” The contestant did a number of wardrobe changes. One change in particular, he dressed as Beyoncé. Also, his hands appeared to be colored black, three witnesses to the audition said.
Union recommended the segment be removed from the lineup. Despite her immediate reaction to what many would call flat out racist, Union was reportedly met with “we’ll take it out later” from producers, which according to Variety is a “familiar refrain heard on the ‘AGT’ set.”
Julianne Hough was also fired from the show. Simon Cowell and other hosts Howie Mandel and Terry Crews are expected to return for next season.
On December 1, the network and producers Fremantle and Simon Cowell’s Syco released a statement saying, “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”