NBC and 'America's Got Talent' Releases Statement Following Gabrielle Union Firing, Controversy

In an effort to stave off more negative publicity following the fallout from Gabrielle Union's firing, NBC and America's Got Talent producers Fremantle Media and Simon Cowell's Syco released a new statement. The trio claimed to be "working with" Union and her representatives to decide what the "next steps" are. Union and Julianne Hough were fired from AGT after only one season, and reports say Union's frequent complaints of a toxic work environment played a role.

"We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture," the network and producers said in a joint statement to Variety Sunday. "We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate."

After the statement was released, Union took to Twitter, where she agreed with culture writer Joelle Monique that a "solid apology comes in three parts." Monique later added, "anything less is covering your own a—."

Early last week, NBC surprisingly announced that Union and Hough would not be welcomed back to judge another season of America's Got Talent after they appeared in this past summer's season. According to reports by LoveBScott and Variety, Union raised several concerns throughout the season about a "toxic culture" behind the scenes.

In one incident, Union reportedly objected to the show airing an audition from a man who impersonated several celebrities, including Beyonce. When it came to performing as the pop star, he came out with "black hands," which Union said many would find offensive. Union continued to argue with producers to cut the audition until it eventually was.

Union also told producers that a joke Jay Leno made during a guest appearance could be perceived as racist and made members of the staff feel uncomfortable. The joke, in which Leno said the dogs seen in a painting looked like something one would find "on the menu at a Korean restaurant," did not air in Leno's episode.

Hough and Union reportedly received multiple notes about their appearance on the show throughout the season. In one note, Union was reportedly told her different hairstyles were "too black" for the audience, four sources told Variety.

Since the reports surfaced multiple celebrities have come forward to support Union, with Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo being among the most vocal.

"So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever," Union wrote in a Nov. 27 tweet, adding a heart emoji.

Union also shared an emotional statement on Thanksgiving, alongside a photo with husband Dwyane Wade.


"Grateful... Happy Thanksgiving good people," Union wrote in the caption. "To all the friends and family that have my back and all the friends and family I've never met who show love and support when everyone is looking and when no one is looking...All praise, gratitude and thankfulness."

Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images