When news broke that veteran actress Gabrielle Union was fired from the long-running competition show, America’s Got Talent — everyone was appalled. The Bring It On alum was such a positive force on the show bringing in millions of new viewers and supporting the show on all of her social media platforms. She had the highest social media engagement of any judge in the history of the show.
Though Union has not explicitly discussed why she was let go — her husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade has confirmed that she was unceremoniously let go. Also, there was a shocking report from Variety that both Union and fellow co-judge Julianne Hough were fired after Union spoke up about AGT’s toxic work environment.
All of this has sparked several investigations. NBC and SAG-AFTRA have launched their own investigation while the Time’s Up Movement and other celebrities are rallying around Union. Still, many people are convinced that AGT judge Simon Cowell had Union fired in retaliation for speaking her mind.
Gabrielle Union reported a toxic work environment and racist incidents while working at ‘AGT’
Following the Time’s Up and Me Too Movements — Hollywood has allegedly turned over a new leaf. Unfortunately, it appears that NBC is still protecting Hollywood’s Good Old Boys Club. According to Variety, — Union and Hough were subjected to relentless comments on their appearance. NBC told the Think Like A Man actress that her rotating hairstyles were “too black” for viewers. Also, when she complained about an insensitive joke made by guest judge Jay Leno and Cowell’s incessant indoor smoking she was shut down.
Still after the Variety report — NBC doubled down on their choice not to bring Union back. “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” NBC said. “The judging and host lineup has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”
Celebrities are blaming Simon Cowell for Gabrielle Union’s dismissal
Since Cowell and his company executive produce AGT and some of the Union’s complaints were directly about him, many celebs are certain he had a lot to do with Union and Hough’s firings. Howard Stern, who served a judge on for four seasons of AGT said,
How is it that Simon Cowell has orchestrated this? He sets it up that the men stay, no matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are. What he manages to do on all his shows is he constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks, which is so obvious. Howie‘s (Mandel) doing a fine, serviceable job — why don’t they change him? And why don’t they change Simon?…This is the ultimate example of a boys’ club.
Activist and actress Jameela Jamil also tweeted some thoughts. “I am lucky to work with really good people at @nbc and am sad and angry to know this has been going on in that same network,” she said. “I stand with @itsgabrielleu all the way. They should bring her back, with a big raise, and remove @SimonCowell instead.”
27. The kicker in my story is the most critical detail: @itsgabrielleu is exploring her legal options against NBC
Gabrielle Union is exploring her legal options against NBC
Union has thanked people for rallying around her publically, “So many tears, so much gratitude,” she tweeted. “THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone … you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.” Now, it is being reported that she is exploring her legal options.
Toxic work environments –for women, in particular, are still prevalent across the board. We’re so glad Gabrielle Union isn’t standing for it.