Dwyane Wade is standing up for wife Gabrielle Union following her exit as a judge from America's Got Talent amid a new Variety report that she had expressed concern over a "toxic culture" behind-the-scenes. The NBA player took to Twitter in a lengthy message Wednesday, claiming his wife had been fired from the NBC show and demanding answers as to why.
"'Men lie, Women lie, numbers don't' Over this past year I've been approached by many people saying that my wife [Gabrielle Union] is the main reason they've started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show," he wrote. "So 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. But if anyone knows [Gabrielle Union] or have heard of her you know she's an advocate for our community and culture."
Wade continued, "As proud as I were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT — I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that's US. So [cheers] to you [Gabrielle Union] on not losing sight of the lessons we've talked about teaching our daughter and for kicking a— while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world‼️"
Variety's report published Tuesday paints a negative portrait of AGT behind the scenes prior to Union's exit after just one season alongside Julianne Hough. According to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the publication, Union spoke out against a racially insensitive joke made by Jay Leno during the audition round and was criticized for her appearance and hairstyles, deemed "too black" for the show.
A network insider denied these allegations to Variety, saying only issues of hair continuity between takes were addressed with Union and Hough.
"America's Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show," NBC and series producer Fremantle said in a joint statement to the outlet. "The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT's enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously."
Hough also denied having a negative experience on the show before her exit, telling Variety, "I had a wonderful time on America's Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC."
Photo credit: NBC/Trae Patton