NBC Investigating America's Got Talent

Probe follows 'productive' 5-hour meeting with Gabrielle Union
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2019 6:21 AM CST
NBC Probe Follows 5-Hour Meeting With Gabrielle Union
This March 11, 2019 file photo shows Gabrielle Union at the "America's Got Talent" season 14 kickoff in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

NBC will open an investigation into America's Got Talent after meeting with fired judge Gabrielle Union. "We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday," Union tweeted Wednesday. "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change." NBC describes a "candid and productive" conversation, adding it's working with Union "to come to a positive resolution" amid "a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts," per the Los Angeles Times. The SAG-AFTRA union is also investigating after Variety reported via sources that Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough, also dropped, faced criticism regarding their appearances, with Union allegedly told at least six times that her hairstyles were "too black."

The article also described Union complaining about a joke by Jay Leno that seemed to perpetuate stereotypes about Asians eating dog meat, and a performance by a white contestant who darkened his hands in an impersonation of Beyonce. Time's Up chief executive Tina Tchen says Union's experience "follows a pattern of NBCUniversal protecting the careers of powerful men at the expense of women who speak out," per the Guardian. Hough, who stars in two upcoming NBC shows, has said she had a "wonderful time" on AMT. But former judge Sharon Osbourne has also faulted the network. "I left because of NBC, not because of the show," she said Monday on The Talk, per USA Today. "Everybody was amazing to me, everybody, except the network." (Howard Stern blames Simon Cowell.)

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