justice for gabrielle

Meeting With Gabrielle Union Leads NBC to Open Full Investigation of America’s Got Talent Firing

Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Last week, Vulture reported on Gabrielle Union’s surprising exit from America’s Got Talent after just one season at the judge’s table, and according to multiple sources at the production, the actress and producer was fired for making too many waves with the network and series overlord Simon Cowell. More specifically, Union had spoken out against racist behavior she witnessed (which included a joke by Jay Leno and Union being told her hairstyles were “too black” for the show, among other instances), Cowell’s persistent indoor smoking, and a generally toxic on-set culture. Today, NBC agreed to open an investigation into Talent after meeting with Union for five hours. Following the sit-down, she tweeted:

And the network issued the following statement through a spokesperson: “The initial conversation was candid and productive. While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution.” According to Vulture’s reporting, Cowell insisted Union bring all her complaints about AGT — which he has almost absolute control over — to him instead of the network. Sources say that Union’s contract was prematurely terminated because she was “perceived as ‘difficult’ by Cowell and his team of producers.” Julianne Hough will also not return for the show’s 15th season, despite serving only one term as a judge as well.

NBC Opens Full Investigation Into America’s Got Talent