Gabrielle Union has encouraged women, especially women of colour, to speak out against discrimination, after leaving America’s Got Talent.
The star urged her fans ‘don’t be the happy negro’ amid claims she expressed dissatisfaction in the ‘toxic culture’ behind the scenes on the show.
Now she wants women to break the status quo, as she sounded the rally call while speaking at a female empowerment and inclusivity panel this week – even if it gets them fired.
The 47-year-old actress said, according to Variety: ‘Don’t be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo because you’re afraid. Don’t allow them to call you angry when someone else is called passionate. It’s terrifying. There’s a solid chance you’ll lose your job … I speak from experience.
‘Do your best because corporations want global dollars. Do your best to try to hold the door open and hold people responsible. Yeah, I’m asking you to do the impossible … I’m fully aware that job loss is on the table … but if you’re not doing it, nobody is.’
Earlier this month, the Bring It On star met with NBC representatives for a five-hour meeting, in order to push for ‘real change’ on the show.
Following the meeting, she tweeted: ‘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.’
Following the claims, NBC has promised to make a ‘further investigation’ into Gabrielle’s complaints.
They said in a statement: The initial conversation was candid and productive.
‘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 broadcaster reportedly plans to bring in an independent investigator to probe the show and AGT creator Simon Cowell, who will likely be asked to switch things up.
A source said: ‘The ball is in NBC’s court to see if they can get Cowell to agree to make some changes to the way things are done on the show.’
After the star left the show, America’s Got Talent released a statement to address the drama and stated they were in contact with Gabrielle and her team.
The statement 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.’
It comes after Gabrielle publicly reached out to Orlando Jones after he claimed that he was fired by the same production company behind the talent show.
Orlando alleged on social media that he was let go from the Starz show American Gods because his character Mr Nancy sends ‘the wrong message for black America’ and was dropped from the series ahead of season three.
Gabrielle reached out to Orlando on Twitter and invited him to talk, writing: ‘Ohhhhhhhhhhh let’s chat my friend.’
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