WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Formal investigations have been launched following complaints from ‘America’s Got Talent’ judge Gabrielle Union that the work environment is too toxic.
- Union and the show’s executives are scheduled to meet and discuss about her concerns which included a racist joke on her hairstyles and executive producer Simon Cowell’s smoking habit.
- Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were both not included among the judges in the upcoming second season of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions”.
Members of Gabrielle Union’s team are expected to meet with NBC representatives amid ongoing investigations on claims that the work environment is ‘racially insensitive’.
Previously, Union and co-AGT judge Julianne Hough announced that they won’t be judging in the second season of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which is set to premiere on January 6.
According to Variety, Union’s contract was not renewed due to allegations that she pushed the show’s producers to report a racist incident where she was told that her hairstyles were “too black” for viewers. Another report by Vulture also claimed that there was tension between Union and fellow judge Simon Cowell, who’s also an executive producer of the show, due to Cowell’s smoking on set, which is banned in California.
On Monday, NBC together with Fremantle Production Company and Syco, Cowell’s company, issued a statement to CNN saying that they are looking into the matter and working with Union to come to learn more about her concerns.
“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,” the statement read.
Further investigations were also taken by the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).
The organization also released a statement to CNN that read: “We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. 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.”
Support and praises for Union has since gone viral, including the Time Up organization.
On Tuesday, Union reposted a tweet from actress Aisha Tyler asking for donations and support in Time Up’s fight for ‘safety, equity & dignity in every workplace’. “Nobody should fear being harassed, assaulted, or discriminated against at work. We’re making progress, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
NBC and Union did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.