Gabrielle Union and NBC have come to an agreement on the America's Got Talent controversy. After making headlines in November 2019 after NBC announced that she and Julianne Hough would not be returning as judges, the network and Union's spokespeople announced they've come to an agreement. In the joint statement, it was clarified that they were grateful she raised concern and wanted to create an environment that was safe and healthy for everyone.
"We've reached an amicable resolution," NBC and Union's representation said on Tuesday, according to TVLine. "NBC Entertainment appreciates the important concerns raised by Gabrielle Union and remains committed to ensuring an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds can be treated with respect." After reports of a toxic work environment, Union finally broke her silence on the matter months after the issues were first brought up.
"There were so many spaces in this industry where I had to compartmentalize myself to feel like I was worthy of work," she told Variety. "In my 40s, I embraced myself exactly as I am. I wanted to create projects and be a part of things, to have personal and professional relationships that brought me peace, joy, grace and allowed for compassion." Just two months after the finale of her first season, she and Hough were dismissed from the show, despite contractual options to return for another season.
"I couldn't escape," she continued to explain. "I ended up staying sick for two months straight. It was a cold that lingered, and turned into bronchitis because I couldn't shake it. It impacted my voice, which affects my ability to do my job." One issue she seemingly had was fellow judge Simon Cowell smoking on set which she claims messed with her health. After raising the issue, Cowell continued to do it. "I want to come to work and be healthy and safe and listened to," she said after she said she felt like she was looked at "as being difficult" for simply wanting him to follow the health and safety laws.
While Union claims Cowell did not respect her request, he shares a much different story. "When he was directly informed of the smoking complaint during the first couple of days of the season, he immediately changed his behavior, and the issue was never raised again," a spokesperson for Cowell said. However, Union recalled a much more fraught choice she had to make.