Julianne Hough is standing behind her former America's Got Talent co-star Gabrielle Union after their exit from the show came amid claims that Union had been ousted for speaking out against a "toxic" environment on set. The former Dancing With the Stars pro told Entertainment Tonight Wednesday she was "really happy" Union had the opportunity to meet with NBC representatives to voice her concerns after the Variety report claimed she was fired for initially speaking out against problems on the show.
"That's awesome. Oh good. That's amazing," Hough told ET at the 87th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center. "Honestly, we've been here doing so many rehearsals I haven't really looked at my phone, but that makes me really happy. That's such an amazing step in shifting the paradigm of the workplace and it's great."
As for her own exit from the show after just one season, Hough denied that she had been involved in the situations reportedly causing Union concern about racial insensitivity on the set, including a racist joke from guest judge Jay Leno that was edited out of the show.
"My option was not picked up," Hough explained, saying she was not given a reason why. "I found out later as I had conversations. But everybody has their unique experiences whether it was on AGT or multiple other shows that people have. So everybody has their unique human experience. That's what it is to be human and so I value everybody's voice and I just feel like everybody should be heard. Whether that's publicly or privately, I feel like everybody has that choice and that right."
Union, for her part, revealed on Twitter Wednesday that she had been able to meet with the network to discuss her concerns: "We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday," she wrote. "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change."
Photo credit: Getty / Rodin Eckenroth