NBC, the American broadcasting company hosting America’s Got Talent (AGT), guaranteed that it would investigate the controversy regarding Gabrielle Union’s exit from the show. Julianne Hough and Union who participated as the judges were denied from renewing their contracts for the second term from the talent show competition.
Complaints about Racism and Toxic Culture
In a talk with NBC, Union claimed that the main reason for removing her from the show was because she complained about racism and other offensive issues that happened on the show.
Variety, an American media corporation, published that both judges were subject to “excessive notes” about their physical appearance. As reported by Variety through an unnamed source, Union was being targeted for her hairstyles as being “too black” and she had also expressed her concern over racially insensitive situations or jokes during her time on the show.
Additionally, she shared her views on racism and insensitive offense over several incidents including Jay Leno’s joke on dogs on the show in April 2019, which was edited out for telecasting.
Supporting Union’s Tweeter Post
Union tweeted yesterday after the talk with NBC, “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.”
Many celebrities appreciate her courageous and truthful twitter post. Hough who was the co-judge with Union in AGT shared her note of appreciation over the post saying, “When I see that comment there, that excites me so much, because that is what we need to start conversations and I just commend Gabrielle for speaking her truth and starting a conversation.”
The former judge continued, “I’m really proud of NBC as well for showing up and starting a narrative, and that’s what’s going to change the workplace and the paradigm that we’ve been working in for many, many years. It’s shifting and that’s really exciting.”
NBC’s Assurance for Conducting an Inquiry
Citing the talk with Union was productive, NBC the SAG-AFTRA union announced to open investigations into the matter. An official from the production company reported to Variety, “We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms.
Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.”
As Bryan Freedman, the Union’s lawyer, stated, “While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution.”
The representatives from Fremantle, one of the show’s production companies, also took part in the talk. In the backdrop of this development, he further added, “We’re waiting to see the next steps on whether NBC is going to make sure that there are real changes made to protect both the contestants and the talent.”
Earlier in December 2019, the production group of the show commented, “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture.”
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