Media reports claim Union was considered “difficult” for calling out a “toxic culture” on the “AGT” set including incidents of racism and apparent sexism.
Gabrielle Union has broken her silence after a bombshell report alleged that she was let go from “America’s Got Talent” after a single season as a judge for speaking out against perceived instances of racism and a “toxic culture” on the set.
According to media reports, Union — who was let go alongside fellow freshman judge Julianne Hough — was deemed “difficult” because she spoke up about an alleged racist joke Jay Leno told on camera, would ask performers in drag their preferred pronoun, and even called out the show’s creator and head judge Simon Cowell for smoking inside the building, which is against the law — plus, she is reportedly allergic to cigarette smoke.
NBC, however, insists that any on-set issues are taken seriously, and says that this panel rotation is just a part of the natural cycle of a show like “AGT.” “‘America’s Got Talent’ has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” the network and show producer Fremantle said in a joint statement.
As soon as the story broke, social media exploded with positive messages applauding Union for taking a stand during her time on the NBC reality series, and offering their love and support. And all of that love has not gone unnoticed.
Perhaps appropriately on Thanksgiving Eve, the “L.A.’s Finest” star took to Twitter to thank all of her fans and all of those within the industry choosing to stand by her side, though she neither confirmed nor denied any of the specifics of the reports that have been coming out.
“Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone,” she wrote to her fans and supporters. “You got me up off the ground.”
So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever ❤
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) November 28, 2019
“The Flash” star Candice Patton threw her support behind Union, explaining that it’s really the only thing she can do. “You stand up for us, so we stand up for you!” she wrote. After all, it is purportedly because Union was standing up for minority groups that she was allegedly deemed difficult and let go.
Patricia Arquette was there for her, as well, adding, “You should not be penalized for trying to have a workplace that honors the rule of law in the workplace.”
You can check out some of the support Union has received since the bombshell report broke on Tuesday below:
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) November 27, 2019
Team @itsgabrielleu, always.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 28, 2019
With you ?
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) November 28, 2019
— Bebe Neuwirth (@BebeNeuwirth) November 28, 2019
Gabrielle Union also goes hard behind the scenes. I was in a situation where an entity was leveraging their power 2harm me.
W/O me asking, she pulled an Olivia Pope and handled it in a day. She never even mentioned it publicly. She’s the truth. She deserves our support https://t.co/bYcuWMd