It’s been a dizzying few weeks for veteran actress Gabrielle Union. Despite her immense talent and the impact that she had on the long-running NBC competition series, America’s Got Talent — Union was ousted as a judge on the show after just one season.
Most AGT fans were confused when news of Union’s firing hit the internet. After all — the actress had the largest social media impact of any judge ever in the history of AGT. Therefore, when she and Julianne Hough were let go — most people assumed that Union decided to do something else at this point in her career. Now we know that is not the case.
According to a scathing report published by Variety — Union was booted from the show after taking AGT and NBC to task about the show’s toxic, sexist, and racist work environment. Now, fans and celebrities are rallying behind the L.A.’s Finest actress — with TV host Wendy Williams giving Union one sound word of advice.
Gabrielle Union was subjected to a racist, sexist and toxic work environment at ‘AGT’
Though the Being Mary Jane actress has yet to speak publically about any reported incidents from her time on AGT — the in-depth report done by Variety gives us some insight into what went down. According to Variety — Union was subjected to at least half a dozen notes about her appearance — namely that her hair was “too black.”
Union had also voiced her concerns over a 10-year-old Black rapper that was deemed to be too “unappealing for the AGT” audience. She also voiced her concerns about Simon Cowell’s indoor cigarette smoking which also fell on deaf ears.
NBC is now scrambling to get back into Gabrielle Union’s good graces
After issuing a non-apology that read, “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show” — NBC is now changing its tune and investigating Union’s claims.
That was not enough to calm AGT fans fearsome reactions. Former judge Howard Stern even weighed in saying, “[Simon] sets it up that the men stay no matter how ugly [the men] are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are.”
It appears that Union is now exploring options with her legal team.
Wendy William’s advice for Gabrielle Union
Many celebrities including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jameela Jamil, Ellen Pompeo, and Debra Messing have stood with Union. Now — talk show host Wendy Williams is throwing in her two cents.
“Well, I think this is terrific,” she said of Union standing up for herself. “Gabrielle, if they offer you your job back, I wouldn’t even take it,” Wendy urged, suggesting, “But, you know what I would take, a low key high-paying job as a consultant in the background for the show.”
Williams went on to add that she thought the AGT work environment issues were more sexist than racist. “It’s only the girls that get replaced and they do get replaced with equally as attractive women,” she admitted. “However, I don’t think Simon is a racist because he’s had relations with black women before. I don’t think this is a black thing, I think this is a sexism thing, girls. This is us all against them and sometimes that’s how it is. It’s not always a black or white thing.”
It will be interesting to see how this pans out.