NBC has confirmed it is launching a formal investigation into Gabrielle Union’s firing from America’s Got Talent “to get a deeper understanding of the facts” after a five-hour meeting with the actor.
NBC is launching a formal investigation into America’s Got Talent, just eight days after it was reported that judge Gabrielle Union was fired from the reality series by NBC, following her complaints about a toxic culture on set, Variety has reported.
Union sat down with the network yesterday for a five-hour meeting, during which she was able to “express my unfiltered truth”, Union confirmed in a tweet. “I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change,” she said.
An NBC spokesperson said: “The initial conversation was candid and productive. While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution.”
Earlier this week, Union tweeted a timely quote on how to apologise. While not mentioning the America’s Got Talent controversy directly, many pointed out the timing was uncanny.
Variety reported that the decision not to renew Union’s contract came after she raised concerns about a racially insensitive joke made by co-judge Jay Leno on the set of the series. The joke, which was eventually cut from the episode, saw Leno perpetuate stereotypes that a Korean restaurant might serve dog meat.
According to Variety, Union also complained about a white contestant whose routine involved dressing up as Beyoncé. As well as these complaints, Variety notes that Union was subject to a deluge of “notes” from producers on the television show that her hair was “too black” for audiences.
Many have spoken out in solidarity with the star, including Ellen Pompeo. The Grey’s Anatomy actor, who herself battled against television executives to receive equal pay and rights as her male co-stars, tweeted: “It’s unfortunate that NBC the same network that protected men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking our or not putting with it… has not changed their practices or culture.”
Meanwhile, yesterday in a statement responding to reports of its “toxic culture”, NBC said: “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. 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.”
Union has yet to publicly address her ousting or NBC’s response. However, shortly after that statement was released, Union retweeted writer and host Joelle Monique’s tweet about how to apologise properly.
Monique’s original quote read: “A solid apology comes in three parts. 1. Sincerely admit wrong doing directly to the offended party. 2. Be twice as loud correcting your mistake as you were making the mistake. 3. Lay out steps to correct your behaviour in the future. Anything less is covering your own ass.”
Union retweeted this, saying: “This! This! AND THIIISSSSSSS!!!!!!”