Reports have been swirling that Gabrielle Union was fired from ‘AGT’ after she spoke out about the show’s ‘toxic culture.’
Gabrielle Union, 47, has husband Dwayne Wade, 37, in her corner! The former NBA star showed support for his wife on social media after it was announced that she wouldn’t be returning to America’s Got Talent. “So when I got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!?” Dwayne tweeted on Wednesday, Nov. 27. “I am still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.”
Gabrielle was appointed as a judge on the popular reality series earlier this year, after the departure of Heidi Klum and Melanie Brown. While the actress has yet to address her exit directly, our sister publication Variety reports that she was let go after expressing concern over a “toxic culture” behind-the-scenes. Sources told the publication that she addressed a racially insensitive comment by comedian Jay Leno — who joked that the pets featured on the show looked like something he could find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant” — as well as a potentially offensive performance which saw a contestant display black hands while performing a song by Beyonce. After Jay’s comment — which was cut from the broadcast — Gabrielle suggested producers report the incident to the human resources department, but it’s unclear if the case was ever escalated. In addition, Variety reports that the actress was also criticized for wearing hairstyles that were considered “too black” for the show’s audience.
“As proud as I were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US,” Dwayne continued, referencing Gabrielle talking a stand against the inappropriate incidents. “So [cheers] to you @itsgabrielleu on not losing sight of the lessons we’ve talked about teaching our daughter [Kaavia] and for kicking ass while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world‼️”
NBC has since addressed the behind-the-scenes drama, ensuring fans that they are committed to inclusivity and diversity. “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” the network and production company Fremantle said in a joint statement. “The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”