People has confirmed that Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara will be joining the panel of judges for the 15th season of America’s Got Talent. She joins host Terry Crews and Simon Cowell, Howie Mandell, and Heidi Klum on the judge’s panel, after season 14 judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough departed the show amid controversy after just one season. Journalist Yashar Ali broke the story behind Union’s firing from AGT on Vulture, citing instances of tension between Union and executive producer Cowell as well as multiple moments of “perceived racist behavior” on the set of AGT. Union had a 5-hour meeting with representatives from NBC which led to a full investigation of Union’s firing by the network.
In a statement, Vergara said, “I’m so happy to join my new family on AGT. This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I’m extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show. I can’t wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys.” President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment Merideth Arh said of Vergara’s addition the panel, “Sofia’s infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry. As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT’s transformative stage.”