Union confirmed on social media that she had a “lengthy, five-hour… productive meeting” on Tuesday with the network and her AGT bosses, during which she “was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth.” Union added that she “led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) December 4, 2019
NBC, meanwhile, issued its own statement confirming that its “initial conversation” with Union “was candid and productive,” adding, “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.”
Late last month, it was reported that Union and Julianne Hough — both of whom had joined AGT as judges in Season 14 — would not be returning for AGT‘s 15th cycle. Our sister site Variety later reported that Union and Hough had been subject to a “toxic culture” at the show, including excessive notes on their appearance (including a specific critique that Union’s hairstyles were “too black”). Union also reportedly clashed with producers about a contestant whose material she found racially insensitive. Said performer was ultimately allowed to try out, though his audition was later cut from the final broadcast.
NBC and series producer Fremantle initially issued a statement asserting that AGT “has a long history of inclusivity and diversity,” while “the judging and host lineup has been regularly refreshed over the years.” But on Sunday, they were singing a slightly different tune. “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” NBC and Fremantle said in a new statement. “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.”