Gabrielle Union Delivers Powerful Message to Women After America's Got Talent Firing

Gabrielle Union encourages women to speak up in the workforce just weeks after being fired from America's Got Talent

By Mike Vulpo Dec 16, 2019 7:57 PMTags
Watch: Julianne Hough & Gabrielle Union Leave "America's Got Talent"

There's nothing more powerful than your voice.

More than three weeks after news broke that Gabrielle Union was leaving America's Got Talent, the popular judge appeared on a female empowerment and inclusivity panel at the launch of her holiday collection with New York & Company.

While the actress didn't specifically call out the NBC reality show, Gabrielle addressed the importance of speaking up—even if there are financial consequences.

"Don't be the happy negro that does the bidding of the status quo because you're afraid. Don't allow them to call you angry when someone else is called passionate," she shared via Variety. "It's terrifying. There's a solid chance you'll lose your job…I speak from experience."

Gabrielle continued, "Do your best because corporations want global dollars. Do your best to try to hold the door open and hold people responsible. Yeah, I'm asking you to do the impossible…I'm fully aware that job loss is on the table…but if you're not doing it, nobody is."

Stars React to Gabrielle Union's America's Got Talent Firing

Days after it was revealed that Gabrielle and fellow judge Julianne Hough would not return to America's Got Talent season 15, Variety reported that Dwyane Wade's wife had expressed concern over "offensive" incidents that occurred during her time at the show.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

"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 AGT production companies Fremantle and Syco, which was founded by Simon Cowell, a judge and executive producer on the competition show. "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."

Since then, SAG-AFTRA has launched an investigation into Gabrielle's exit with TIME'S UP Now and former judge Howard Stern offering their full support to the actress.

Gabrielle also revealed that she had a "productive meeting" with the Americas Got Talent team earlier this month.

During today's panel held at Ladurée in SoHo, Gabrielle also shared her thought-process when she is making personal career decisions.

"How many checks do I need? This financial freedom, they're shackles, masquerading as zeros in my bank account," she shared. "There are a lot of people who are only interested in filling their own plate. I can't enjoy my food if everyone else is starving."

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