Support continues to pour in for Gabrielle Union who was sacked by NBC as the judge of America's Got Talent. The ouster came soon after Union spoke about "toxic" workplace culture and the "problematic", racially unsympathetic sections on the show.
In the news that broke on Friday, it was revealed that Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, would not return as judges for the 15th edition of the reality show. The duo had joined AGT's Season 14 in place of previous judges Heidi Klum and Mel B.
Union was sacked after she complained about racism insensitive jokes on set, reports
As per a report of Variety, Union had expressed her concern regarding the racially insensitive jokes from guest judge Jay Leno and a white contestant presenting insensitive impressions of other celebrities. Apparently, both the segments were not aired on the show.
Union had also expressed her concerns about how appearance was repeatedly "too black" for the audience of the show. She also spoke about Simon Cowell's smoking on the set and her struggle for almost a month.
Justifying their actions, a spokesperson for NBC and production company Fremantle issued a statement, saying, "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's husband says he is proud of his wife
Taking a tough stand for his wife, Union's husband, NBA star Dwayne Wade spoke out on social media against the decision. "'Men lie, Women lie, numbers don't' Over this past year I've been approached by many people saying that my wife @itsgabrielleu is the main reason they've started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show. So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? Iam [sic] 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."
In continuation, Wade wrote, "As proud as i were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— Iam [sic] even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that's US. So [cheers] to you @itsgabrielleu on not losing sight of the lessons we've talked about teaching our daughter and for kicking ass while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world."
Support poured in for Union on social media
The latest celebrity to support Union in her tough times is Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo. "It's unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it...has not changed their practices or culture. I support @itsgabrielleu commitment to speaking up to injustice. It takes courage," wrote an enraged Pompeo.
Supporting Union, Oscar winner Patricia Arquette wrote "This is terrible. You should not be penalized for trying to have a workplace that honors the rule of law in the workplace."
Union thanked her friends and fans for their support
In a recent post on Instagram, Union thanked her friends and fans for lending their support to the celebrity judge, who appeared on the show for just one season.
"So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever," tweeted Union, who broke her silence for the first time after the controversy erupted.
The 47-year-old actress also shared a picture of her family on Thanksgiving. Sporting a bright yellow dress along with white sneakers, Union was standing with her husband and their daughter Kaavia James and Wade's 12-year-old son Zion Malachi Airamis. "Grateful ❤❤❤ Happy Thanksgiving good people. To all the friends and family that have my back and all the friends and family, I've never met who show love and support when everyone is looking and when no one is looking... All praise, gratitude and thankfulness," Union wrote the caption.
Julianne Hough continues her association with NBC
Meanwhile, Hough had no complaints against NBC for her ouster. The 31-year-old American actress said that she had a great time working on America's Got Talent and is looking forward to continuing the relationship with NBC. Hough will be starring in NBC's Christmas specials.