We continue to learn about the drama behind the scenes of NBC’s America’s Got Talent which ultimately led to the firing of judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough. A report from Variety reveals some details about the “toxic environment” of the show.
There were allegations of racial insensitivity behind the scenes including former late-night host Jay Leno cracking jokes about Asian stereotypes while others claim Union was told her hairstyles were “too black” for the show’s audience.
It has since been reported that Union was fired from the show after voicing issues about “problematic” issues.
From the report:
Union was subjected to a very specific critique — that her rotating hair styles were “too black” for the audience of AGT, a note she received over half a dozen times, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the exchanges who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One network insider disputed the volume of notes, saying there was only feedback about hair continuity for both judges.
Union’s husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, also commented on her departure on social media.
“So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? I am still waiting on a good answer to that question,” he tweeted. “But if anyone knows [Gabrielle] or have heard of her, you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.”
So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? Iam 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.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 27, 2019
Union has not commented on the report.
NBC, meanwhile, has addressed the terminations of Union and Hough’s contracts.
“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 series producer Fremantle said in a joint statement. “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.”
America’s Got Talent wrapped up its most recent season with approximately 10 million viewers during the finale.