NBC Exec Promises “New Practices If Necessary” At “America’s Got Talent” After Gabrielle Union’s Accusations
NBC is speaking out in regards to the allegations made by former America’s Got Talent host Gabrielle Union, which caused the network to formally launch an internal investigation.
On Saturday, president of NBC Entertainment Paul Telegdy told reporters that the matter was still being looked into, but would conclude soon, the AP reports.
“I can’t deny it, and that’s being handled by lawyers,” said Telegdy during a Q&A as part of the Television Critics Association’s press tour. Telegdy also revealed the results of the investigation would be available at the end of the month.
“We certainly take anyone’s critique who comes to work here incredibly seriously,” he continued adding, “if we learn something, we’ll certainly put new practices in place, if necessary.”
“We want to always go after the truth. That’s our culture here, you can ask anyone who works here,” he said.
The network made the move after Union said she was ostracized over her appearance and was privy to racially tinged comments made on set by her counterparts.
In mid-November it was announced Union and former fellow host Julianne Hough were not extended contracts for the current season, inciting fans of the show to inquire why the decision was made. An in-depth November 26 report by Variety revealed there were much more startling accusations happening behind the scenes. Union had reportedly told higher-ups that she was offended by a racially insensitive joke made by Jay Leno that was edited out of one of the episodes. The report also alleged Union and Hough were given extensive direction on their outward appearance, and in Union’s case, was reportedly told that her hair choices were “too Black” for the show’s audience.
Shortly after the report was made public, Union and her representatives sat down with NBC exec’s and the show’s production companies, Fremantle and Simon Cowell‘s company Syco Entertainment.
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate,” NBC, Fremantle and Syco said in a joint statement.
Union also has the backing of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) who said they would also launch an investigation into the matter.
Union has continued to remain vocal about the allegations and maintains that it is necessary to speak out regarding injustices, in the workplace, especially those steeped in misogynoir.