It was just two days ago that it was revealed that both Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were out as judges on America's Got Talent. At the time, their removal from the show after just one season wasn't questioned as judges have come and gone in the past. The two came on in place of Heidi Klum and Melanie Brown.
After an initial report by Variety first reported the departure, a follow-up story by the same outlet (that followed a similar report from LoveBScott) provided a much more serious note on the behind-the-scenes aspects of what allegedly happened prior to the two judges leaving the show.
The two female judges allegedly received numerous notes throughout the season criticizing their look and wardrobe. In Union's case, the messages she received were said to be riddled with racist remarks. One note in particular that Variety referred to called her changing hair styles throughout the season as "too black" for the viewing audience of the reality show.
The "toxic culture" continued further beyond that, according to the report. Union reportedly took offense to one contestant's schtick during an audition taping. In it, the contestant was mimicking various singers, and when it came time for his take on Beyoncé, he came out with "black hands."
Union went to a segment producer where she made it known that it was racially insensitive and that the audience shouldn't be subjected to the audition. Nothing was corrected about the whole scene, though, as she was reportedly told, "We'll take it out later," by producers.
The performance went on as such but was cut from the episode after Union continued to press on the matter.
A source to LoveBScott suggests the exit of Union and Hough had to do with this ordeal.
“Social media engagement is the new measuring stick for talent and Simon isn’t on social media. Juliane and Gabrielle were both way higher ranked/engaged than Howie. The idea the network wants to ‘switch things up’ only applies to women and Black folks... Nick Cannon wasn’t crazy. He walked away from 8-figures over how [AGT] operates.”"0comments
There has been no public comment made by Union since the initial news of her departure occurred.
The source's mention of Cannon's exit alludes to an incident in 2017 when, after leaving the show, Cannon went on Facebook to let everyone know he was threatened to be fired after a racial joke he made regarding the network on his stand-up comedy show on Showtime. He ended up quitting before it got that point.