America’s Got Talent Producers and NBC Issue New Statement About Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union was let go from America's Got Talent after reportedly expressing concern over a offensive incidents on the set.

By Corinne Heller Dec 01, 2019 8:58 PMTags
Watch: Julianne Hough & Gabrielle Union Leave "America's Got Talent"

The producers of America's Got Talent and distributor NBC said in a statement on Sunday that they're in communication with Gabrielle Union, who was let go from the show after reportedly expressing concern over offensive incidents on the set, to hear more about what she has to say.

Last week, NBC confirmed that the actress and Julianne Hough would not return to the NBC series after serving as judges for one season. Variety later reported that before their exits, Union urged producers to report to human resources at NBC an offensive joke that guest judge and former Tonight Show host and comedian Jay Leno told on the set. It was not reported. The outlet also said that during her time on the show, Union was given constant notes that her rotating hair styles were "too black" for the series' audience.

"We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture," NBC said in a joint statement with America's Got Talent production companies Fremantle and Syco, founded by show judge and executive producer Simon Cowell. "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."

Gabrielle Union Wants You to Vote For "AGT" at 2019 PCAs

Union has not responded directly to the new statement. However, minutes after it was issued, she retweeted a post by freelance writer Joelle Monique, who wrote, "A solid apology comes in three parts. 1. Sincerely admit wrong doing directly to the offended party. 2. Be twice as loud correcting your mistake as you were making the mistake. 3. Lay out steps to correct your behavior in the future. Anything less is covering your own ass."

"This! This! AND THIIISSSSSSS!!!!!!" Union wrote.

NBC and Fremantle had said in a previous statement last week, "America's Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT's enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously." 

Fans and celebrities such as Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, as well as Union's husband Dwyane Wade, have rallied behind the actress amid the controversy.

"When I got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!?" Wade tweeted just before Thanksgiving. "I am still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she's an advocate for our community and culture," Wade continued in another tweet.

"So many tears, so much gratitude," Union wrote on Instagram earlier this week. "THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever."

She wrote on Instagram on Black Friday, alongside a photo of Wade kissing her as she closes her eyes, "Lord, you KNOW I'm tryin... whew and breathe. Support is everything. ❤ @dwyanewade."

(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family.)