This investigation follows accusations that Union experienced a “racially insensitive” work environment. According to a report published in Variety, Union’s contract was potentially not picked up after she wanted the show’s producers to report a racist joke, which involved someone saying her hairstyles are “too black.”
Union also complained to producers following an alleged comment made about Korean contestants by actor and comedian Jay Leno, who was a guest judge on the show. The actress, along with fellow judge Julianne Hough, won’t be involved in the second season of America’s Got Talent, which premieres on January 6, 2020.
Union’s team met with NBC on Wednesday to discuss the workplace culture at AGT and how comments like this even came about in the first place. The 47-year-old then took to Twitter after the meeting to share what happened.
NBC, along with U.K. production company Fremantle and judge Simon Cowell’s company Syco, released a statement to CNN on Monday, December 2, promising they are working with the actress to “hear more about her concern.”
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the company added.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the reasons behind Gabrielle’s actions include a desire to fight for her own rights and address the “toxicity” she noticed after being on the show for a season.
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.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) December 4, 2019
Since speaking out, Union has gotten lots of support from fans on social media.
“Continue to stand up for people who don’t have a voice or a platform, we love you, we are with you, the battle must continue,” one fan said.
“Gabrielle Union, queen, actress, unaging goddess, cheerleader, and amazing speaker, just told us that she received multiple notes about her hair being TOO BLACK while on the set of AGT. How many times do black women have to tell you that it’s not JUST a hairstyle,” another fan weighed in.
A former AGT judge, Howard Stern, also shared his thoughts on the matter on Sirius XM, calling Cowell out for encouraging a “boy’s club” mentality.
Union hasn’t spoken out much about the controversy, apart from giving thanks for all the support she’s received. She did, however, share Aisha Tyler’s tweet that said no one should fear being harassed or discriminated against at work on Giving Tuesday and further promised that she would donate to the Time’s Up movement.