Former America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern is weighing in on the controversy surrounding the NBC reality competition series, following Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough’s abrupt exits from the judges’ panel — and he’s pointing his finger at executive producer Simon Cowell.
“What he manages to do on all his shows is he constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks,” Stern said Monday on his SiriusXM radio show. “He sets it up that the men stay, no matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are.”
Stern, who was a judge from Season 7 to Season 10, called America’s Got Talent “the ultimate example of a boys’ club.”
Variety reported in November that Union and Hough, both of whom joined AGT as judges in Season 14, would not be returning for the show’s 15th cycle. Shortly after, sources told entertainment news site LoveBScott that there was a racist and sexist culture behind the scenes, alleging that Union was fired for bringing “problematic” on-set situations to light. Variety also published follow-up reports about a toxic culture at the show.
NBC, Fremantle and production company Syco released the following joint statement on Sunday, Dec. 1: “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. 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.”
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