In case you haven’t heard, Gabrielle Union won’t be returning to America’s Got Talent. But she isn’t leaving the show to pursue some other venture or take more time for herself, she was reportedly fired.
Since news of her being let go broke, there have been rumors swirling about the toxic work environment on the show and that Union may have been fired because of it. Now, several celebrities have come out in defense of Union.
Gabrielle Union fired from ‘America’s Got Talent’
On Nov. 22, it as announced that Union and Julianne Hough would not be returning for the 15th season of the show.
According to a report from Variety, Union asked producers to talk to human resources after Jay Leno, who was guest judging at the time, made a racially insensitive joke. The outlet also claimed that Union was told multiple times that her hairstyles were “too black” for the show.
SAG-AFTRA opens an investigation
Following the Variety report, the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists decided to launch an investigation into the matter.
“We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. “It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.”
“For certain matters, our investigation and enforcement needs to happen independently and we are prepared to handle this issue accordingly, as warranted.”
Eva Longoria defends Gabrielle Union
Since she’s been let go, celebrities have been coming to Union’s defense.
“What @gabunion experienced on set at @NBC’s #AmericasGotTalent is unacceptable,” actress Eva Longoria wrote on Instagram Monday.
“It’s time for @NBCUniversal to commit to long-term, concrete action to fix its toxic workplace culture and ensure safety and equity for all its workers. Add your name through @timesupnow Instagram story. #TimeUp on the imbalance of power. ✊”
Sharon Osbourne shares her own experience
The news of Union’s firing also caused some former AGT judges to relive their own experiences.
“I left,” Sharon Osbourne said on The Talk of her exit from the show. “And that’s the truth. I left because of NBC, not because of the show. I had my own problems with the network. I don’t know about any of her concerns about the show.”
“Obviously, there wasn’t anybody of color on the panel when I was there. So, I honestly can’t say. But when I was there it was, you know, a great show to work on.”
Osbourne left AGT in 2012 after six years of being a judge.
“The crew and everybody was amazing to me, everybody, except the network,” Osbourne continued.
Osbourne’s The Talk co-host, Sheryl Underwood, then, spoke up in Union’s defense.
“I am always proud when someone in the workplace has the courage to stand up for what is right,” Underwood said. “It’s something that we need to talk about… things that are appropriate and things that are inappropriate.”
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