After claims of racial insensitivity, Gabrielle Union was fired from the talent show America’s Got Talent in November. Now, NBC vows to make changes.
What We Know:
- Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment Chairman, confirmed on Saturday at the winter Television Critics Association press tour that NBC is in the middle of an investigation into AGT, following allegations made by former judge Gabrielle Union after she and fellow judge Julianne Hough were fired after one season. Union alleges that there was a “toxic culture” on set, among other accusations.
- After news broke that Union and Hough would not be returning for the 2020 season, Variety detailed Union’s allegations against the show. These allegations included a “toxic culture” on set, an alleged racially insensitive joke made by guest judge Jay Leno, a contestant whose quick-changing act reportedly included the use of dark makeup on his hands to portray Beyonce, and allegedly numerous comments from network executives about Union’s hairstyles being “too black”.
- On December 4, Union revealed that she sat down with NBC and the AGT production company to discuss how concerned she was over the racial insensitivity and “toxic culture” of the show that is produced by both Fremantle and Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment. Taking to her Twitter to talk more about the meeting, Union wrote, “We had a lengthy 5 hour, and what I thought to be a productive meeting yesterday. I was able to again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
- In a joint statement, Syco Entertainment, Fremantle and NBC said, “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.”
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