NBC said in a statement this weekend that it is “working” with now-former America’s Got Talent panelist Gabrielle Union after her controversial ouster.
The actress’s exit has generated some significant controversy and allegations that it was racially insensitive. Reports said that Union complained to producers about a racially charged joke that comedian Jay Leno made about Korean people, and the actress also reportedly received notes from production staff that her hair was “too black.”
Now, the network said that it is investigating the claims and working with Union.
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the network said in a statement to the New York Post’s Page Six.
“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.”
It was not clear what those steps might entail or whether anyone at the network could face disciplinary action. As the Page Six report noted, there was some internal conflict over Union’s claims, with show boss Simon Cowell wanting the actress to come directly to him with her complaints about the set.
Union has shown appreciation for the backing she has received after the ouster, taking to Twitter to share a message of thanks for the fans who had been offering their support.
“So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU!” she wrote.
“Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone…you got me off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Union also had the support of many in Hollywood, with Ellen Pompeo, Debra Messing, and Ariana Grande all speaking out in support of her.
As The Inquisitr noted, Union also appeared to open up about the ordeal in a series of posts to her Instagram stories, showing a series of clips of her working out with husband Dwyane Wade noting that she was “not feeling my best” and saying she was trying to “Just breathe” as she walked on a treadmill.
Union had only been on the show for one season, joining after panelists Heidi Klum and Mel B left the show. Julianne Hough, who also joined for this season, was also fired after reportedly complaining about the “toxic” culture on the set of the show and reports said that she too received a number of notes on her appearance. It was not clear if the network would be meeting with Hough along with Union.