“That Was Never My Experience”: Terry Crews Addresses Gabrielle Union’s “AGT” Exit Amid Reports Of Racism & A Toxic Atmosphere
Last week it was ex-host Heidi Klum, but this week actor Terry Crews came forward to express that he too, had an enjoyable experience at America’s Got Talent.
Crews’ recounting of the past comes as actress Gabrielle Union left the show in November a cloud of controversy amid reports of a “toxic work culture,” and racism behind the scenes at the hit NBC show.
“First of all, I can’t speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments,” Crews, who is the show’s host, said during a Thursday morning interview on Today. “That was never my experience on ‘America’s Got Talent.’”
He added, “In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”
Union’s exit opened the door for journalistic investigation and in an explosive report by Variety, numerous insiders said Union was asked to tone down her hairstyles which were “too Black,” and was once offended by a racial joke made by her co-host Jay Leno.
When asked if he’s been in contact with Union since she left the show he said, “I haven’t reached out, but I have not heard anything.”
Crews said that he consulted his wife for advice, who told him that if Union had never directly addressed the commentary, than neither should he.
In December, Crews tweeted, “You’re the best, Gabrielle! You will be missed,” and was dragged by Twitter by not taking a more direct approach, opting to instead remain silent on the issue. Many critics on Twitter looked to Crews to speak out as Union made the second Black entertainer to leave the show on what seemed like bad terms, following ex-host Nick Cannon’s exit in 2017. Crews’ silence was also upsetting as he was one of the first male advocates to speak up for women during the #MeToo movement, by revealing he was also a victim of sexual assault at an industry gathering in 2016.
Thursday’s Today interview marked the first time the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor has publicly spoken about Union’s transition out of the show.