Viola Davis Supports Gabrielle Union Amid Controversial Firing From 'America's Got Talent'

Viola Davis is the latest actress to voice support for Gabrielle Union, who was controversially fired from America's Got Talent last week. Davis said she stands with Union in a Nov. 29 tweet, and reaffirmed her position on Wednesday. The How To Get Away With Murder star told PEOPLE she did not want Union to "feel alone."

"I stand in solidarity with [Union]. Always," Union wrote on Twitter, alongside Ellen Pompeo's strongly-worded statement praising Union for her "courage."

“I always say that I never want my legacy to be one where I did not support,” Davis told PEOPLE at the L'Oreal Women of Worth Awards on Wednesday. "Because I know that when you step out and say something that is out of the norm, there is a lot of shame involved and there’s vitriol involved, and we have the cancel culture. I didn’t want Gabrielle Union to feel alone."

Union and Davis have been friends for more than a decade. The two met on the set of City of Angels.

"She has supported me in the past. We did City of Angels together," Davis told PEOPLE. "That was one of my first television shows. She is an awesome young woman. I didn’t want her to feel alone in a world where people are feeling increasingly alone when they speak out. I don’t want my legacy to be one of tearing another woman down."

Back on Nov. 22, NBC announced it would not be bringing back Union and Julianne Hough for another season of America's Got Talent next year. A few days later, reports surfaced that Union raised concerns about a "toxic" workplace.

In one incident, she told producers a joke Jay Leno made could be seen as racist, and it was later edited out. Hough and Union also reportedly received several notes from producers about their appearance, including one note that complained Union's hairstyles were "too black."

On Wednesday, Union said she met with NBC for five hours.

“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,” Union tweeted.

NBC later announced it would investigate AGT's production company and called the meeting "candid and productive."

Also on Wednesday, Deadline reported that creator Simon Cowell is at the center of the investigation. One of Union's reported complaints involved Cowell smoking indoors. Although the producers acknowledged the complaint, nothing was done.

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During the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Hough called Union's meeting with NBC an "amazing step."

Photo credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images

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