After Gabrielle Union was reportedly fired from her host seat on “America’s Got Talent,” amid reports the show enables an alleged “toxic work culture,” NBC released a statement about their decision to move forward without the actress.
“America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” NBC and production company Fremantle told USA TODAY. “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.”
A report from Variety claims that Gabrielle received excessive comments regarding her appearance, particularly on her hairstyles which were reportedly deemed “too black.”
The article also states that Gabrielle wanted some culturally insensitive comments Jay Leno made reported to HR. According to insiders, back in April Jay visited the show and made a joke about a painting display featuring Simon Cowell and his dogs. He reportedly said the pets looked like something you would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
People found the joke offensive, including Union who wanted the producers to understand why the joke was in poor taste. Her concerns were allegedly never expressed to human resources.
Union’s exit comes shortly after Nick Cannon left the show after he was reprimanded for using a joke during his Showtime special. He made a joke saying he couldn’t use the N-word anymore because of “America’s Got Talent’s” “squeaky clean image.”
“I was to be punished for a joke … My soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices,” Cannon wrote after leaving the show.
“Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to ‘put me in my place’ for so-called unruly actions.”
With two Black hosts out from the same show, it’s hard not to draw parallels between what reportedly happened to Gabby and want Nick said happened to him.