Gabrielle Union Breaks Silence on 'America's Got Talent' Firing Controversy

Gabrielle Union is thanking her fans for their support amid her America's Got Talent firing. The actress and new judge for Season 14 of the NBC reality competition series has been at the center of controversy surrounding her and Julianne Hough's exit from the show after one season.

The L.A.'s Finest star took to Twitter Wednesday night to express her gratitude for all the support as reports surface of the toxic culture in the show she reportedly spoke out against before she was fired.

Fans of the actress responded quickly with an outpouring of support.

"Queen!!!! We love you & support you always. Thank you for standing by your values & everything you believe in," one user commented.

"You're never alone when you have honesty and truth on your side. Thank you for standing your ground," another fan responded to her tweet.

"I'm riding with you until the wheels fall off. Then we're gonna get new wheels and keep riding," another user wrote.

Union's words come as more reports surface regarding the reasons behind her and Hough's exit from the competition series after just one year at the judges' panel. In a report by Variety, sources said Union faced several moments during her stint on the show where she butted heads with producers regarding insensitive jokes or "toxic" working conditions.

The report singled out an instance in which guest judge Jay Leno made an insensitive joke about Korean culture, and Union reportedly voiced concerns and wanted to get the incident reported to HR after noticing one staffer of Asian descent being visibly uncomfortable. The report also detailed an audition in which a contestant imitated different performers and put on black gloves to emulate Beyoncé.

Vulture also released a story, where sources said tensions rose to a point where judge and executive producer Simon Cowell sat down with Union and told her to stop talking about problems on the show with NBC executives, and go to him instead.

The report also mentioned an issue with Cowell frequently smoking in indoors, which affected Union as she is allergic to cigarette smoke. Despite it being illegal for an employee to smoke indoors, the report claims fire marshals and NBC executives have not been able to make Cowell stop for many years.

In a report claiming that both Union and Hough got frequent notes on their looks during production, Hough denied claims with a statement to Variety, where she also mentioned two upcoming specials she will star in for the network in December.


Union's husband Dwayne Wade spoke in support of Union earlier Wednesday, writing on Twitter: "'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. 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."

He added, "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!!"