Will Smith has thrown his support behind Gabrielle Union in the wake of her firing from America's Got Talent. The Gemini Man star is the latest in an ongoing list of celebrities who've rallied behind the recently ousted judge.
Speaking to Extra during the premiere of his latest animated romp, Spies in Disguise, Smith praised Union. "Well, I mean, we have to speak out. When people have issues, you have to, you know, let it be known, you have to bring it to the light."
Smith added, "I haven’t spoken to Gabrielle, so I don’t know the specifics, but, you know, any time there’s an issue, it’s better out than in."
Union co-starred with Smith in 2003's Bad Boys II, and she's since revived the role of Sydney Burnett in the police procedural LA's Finest, which itself is a spinoff of the action movie franchise.
Along with Smith, Will and Grace star Debra Messing, actor Jane Lynch, and talk show host Howard Stern have all spoken out in defense of Union, and urging NBC executives to take the proper recourse in fixing the issues that were brought to light as a result.
Ever since Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were unexpectedly ousted after the show's 14th season, there's been a swarm of controversy on how the two were treated. Union has been particularly vocal in speaking out over a toxic, racist work environment that was present throughout their time on the show.
After being fired in November, earlier this month Union announced that she wouldn't return to the show, but did have a lengthy meeting with NBC over the matter, which she felt was "productive." Hough also weighed in on the meeting, which she called "an amazing step" toward meaningful reforms within the network.
"Honestly, we've been here doing so many rehearsals I haven't really looked at my phone, but that makes me really happy," said Hough. "That's such an amazing step in shifting the paradigm of the workplace and it's great."
The network has also launched an investigation into the matter, which will include probing the behavior of AGT executive producer Simon Cowell.