Simon Cowell’s Company Says It Is ‘Committed’ to a ‘Respectful Workplace’ After Gabrielle Union’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Exit

Simon Cowell Breaks His Silence on Gabrielle Union's 'America's Got Talent' Firing
Simon Cowell and Gabrielle Union Shutterstock (2)

Speaking out. NBC and Simon Cowell’s entertainment company broke their silence on Gabrielle Union‘s departure from America’s Got Talent following speculation she was fired amid complaints of racism.

Syco, which produces the music competition show, Freemantle and NBC released a joint statement to Us Weekly on Sunday, December 1, that stressed their dedication to a safe work environment.

“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the statement read. “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 – NBC, Fremantle, Syco.”

The network confirmed that both Union, 47, and Julianne Hough would not be returning for season 15 of America’s Got Talent after news broke on November 22 that the two judges were let go.

Reports surfaced shortly afterward that the Bring It On alum experienced a toxic work environment on the show. Union reportedly heard multiple racist comments from staffers about her hairstyles being “too black” for AGT‘s audience and she encouraged staffers to report an alleged racist joke, told by Jay Leno, to human resources. The joke was never escalated to human resources, Variety reported.

Several celebrities have spoken out in support of Union, including her husband, Dwyane Wade, director Lena Waithe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Will & Grace star Debra Messing, who is one of the faces of NBC, and Ellen Pompeo.

The Grey’s Anatomy actress, 50, took to Twitter to advocate for Union and vocalize her disappointment at NBC over the alleged incidents.

It’s unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it…has not changed their practices or culture,” Pompeo tweeted on November 28. “I support @itsgabrielleu commitment to speaking up to injustice. It takes courage.”

The L.A.’s Finest actress has not commented directly on the reports, but she has shared several messages on social media about the outpouring of support she has received.

“So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU,” the Being Mary Jane alum tweeted on November 27. “Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”

One day later, she posted a sweet Instagram snap of Wade, 37, their daughter Kaavia, 12 months, her stepchild Zion, 12, and herself with the caption: “Happy Thanksgiving good people. To all the friends and family that have my back and all the friends and family I’ve never met who show love and support when everyone is looking and when no one is looking…All praise, gratitude and thankfulness.”

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