Following the announcement, multiple reports claimed that Union, 47, was let go from the competition series after urging staff to report a racist remark made by Jay Leno to human resources. Additionally, she was allegedly told multiple times that her hairstyles were “too black.” In turn, a network source told Variety that the actress only received feedback about hair continuity.
“America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” NBC and Fremantle told Us Weekly in a statement on November 6. “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.”
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the statement from NBC, Fremantle and Syco 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.”
Fellow judge Julianne Hough was also let go after one season and the magazine claimed that the 31-year-old dancer received critiques about her hair, makeup and wardrobe, as well; she denied the allegations.
“I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent. I loved working with the cast, crew and producers,” she said in a statement on November 26. “I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC. … I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”
On Wednesday, November 27, Union broke her silence in a tweet. “So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU,” she wrote on Wednesday night. “Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Many celebrities have also shown their support on social media, some even signing “Time’s Up’s Stand with Gabrielle Union and Demand Accountability” form. Scroll through the gallery below for the stars showing their support for Union: