Simon Cowell, AGT Facing Legal Battle vs. Gabrielle Union Over Racism Issues
Actress Gabrielle Union has filed a complaint against the producers of "America's Got Talent."
This came after she broke her silence about her experience on the NBC show.
Gabrielle Union Fights Discrimination
Union mentioned that during her time in the said talent show, she encountered racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
With this, the "Breaking In" star filed a harassment complaint with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Fremantle Media, Simon Cowell's Syco and NBC Universal.
Union's lawyer Bryan Freedman slammed NBC as he pointed out that they failed to address her claims of racism.
"It's very telling that NBC fails to substantively address the DFEH complaint that Ms. Union filed based on racial discrimination. Instead, NBC wants to try and play word games by saying that their Chairman, Paul Telegdy, did not directly threaten Gabrielle Union," the lawyer said.
According to the "Bring It On" actress, Telegdy threatened her over her "refusal to remain silent" against discrimination on set which includes "racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges' appearances, including race-related comments."
NBC Strongly Denies Union's Accusations
On the other hand, Variety cited that the media conglomerate quickly denied the accusation and claimef that they have conducted an "investigation" towards her concern.
"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," a spokesperson from NBC Universal told the outlet.
Last year, "AGT" fans were surprised after Union and co-judge Julianne Hough were dismissed from the long-running talent competition show. Instead, they were replaced by German supermodel and TV host Heidi Klum and Sofía Vergara.
Although Union's departure was shocking news, her husband and retired NBA shooting guard Dwyane Wade showed his support and admiratiob for standing up against discrimination and for standing up for what is right.
"When I got the news that my wife was being fired - my first question was obviously why!? I am still waiting on a good answer to that question," he posted on Twitter. "As proud as I [was] of her being selected as a judge on #AGT - I am even more proud of her [for] standing up for what she stands for and that's US."
According to Union, during her first day on the set, she got on the wrong foot with Simon Cowell when she requested him to smoke outside. However, the longtime AGT host ignored her and went on with his business without care for others.
Aside from that, she revealed that producers picked at her appearance and said that her hair was "too wild" and needed to be "toned down" while Cowell and Howie Mandel were never requested to change their appearance.