Yesterday, Gabrielle Union filed a complaint against the producers of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” as well as NBC Universal, Fremantle Media North America, and Syco Entertainment, alleging she experienced discrimination, harassment, and retaliation during her stint on the show. She also claimed that NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her with retaliation if she spoke out.
The actress filed the complaint claiming she was forced out of the show for her refusal to remain silent in the face of a toxic culture at ‘America’s Got Talent’ that included racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges’ appearances, including race-related comments.
NBCUniversal issued a statement responding to the complaint on Thursday, saying, “The allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue. We took Ms. Union‘s concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show,” the statement said. “NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”
Gabrielle Union’s attorney Bryan Freedman said the “racial bullying” Union received stands in contrast to the network’s recent statements about being outraged by racism and standing with Black Lives Matter.
“When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of America’s Got Talent, NBC did not ‘stand’ with her in ‘outrage at acts of racism,’” Freedman said in a statement. “Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved. Rather, NBC stood against her and directed its ‘outrage’ at Ms. Union for whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experienced.”
Union left the long-running talent competition show in November after only one season as a judge.
By: Dammy Eneli