Gabrielle Union has reached a resolution with NBC over her claims of misconduct and racial discrimination on America’s Got Talent. The actress, who was fired after just one season, has reportedly received a substantial settlement.
“We’ve reached an amicable resolution,” NBC and Union said in joint statement. “NBC Entertainment appreciates the important concerns raised by Gabrielle Union and remains committed to ensuring an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds can be treated with respect.”
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Union, who was fired from AGT in November 2019, complained that the talent show fostered a toxic work environment. NBC, meanwhile, maintained that there was no discrimination or harassment. In response, Union filed a detailed complaint filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in June. The complaint claimed NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy had threatened Union for speaking out.
Among other things, Union claimed that producer and judge Simon Cowell routinely smoked cigarettes indoors, guest judge Jay Leno had made a racist joke, which was not censured, and producers considered one of her hairstyles to be “too black” for the show.
“What is the point of having a seat at the table and protecting your privilege when you’re not doing s— to help other people? It’s absolutely terrifying to speak truth to power about anything. I’m trying not to be terrified, and some days are better than others,” Union told Variety.
NBC finally decided to launch an investigation into the allegations of “racist and misogynistic conduct.” Meanwhile, Sharon Osborne and Howard Stern denounced the “boy’s club” atmosphere on the show. NBC, which reportedly completed its investigation in May, denied the claims made by Union.
“Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union’s appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time,” the network said. “The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract.”
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