Gabrielle Union and NBC have reached a settlement following her accusations of the unstable workplace she experienced firsthand at America’s Got Talent. Union alleged the series was a festering ground for harassment, racism and toxicity.
“We’ve reached an amicable resolution. NBC Entertainment appreciates the important concerns raised by Gabrielle Union and remains committed to ensuring an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds can be treated with respect,” NBC and Union’s spokespeople said in a joint statement per Variety.
Union was removed from the Simon Cowell-produced show as a host after she complained about racism, health violations stemming from Cowell’s smoking on-set, and her being labeled as difficult. She was labeled difficult since she was pushing for a “functioning and dignified work environment.”
An internal investigation that was announced four months ago was never formally completed. NBC and FremantleMedia did not find evidence of systemic racism. Significant changes to the “human resources reporting process” for employees have been made.
In June, Union filed a harassment complaint against NBC Universal and producers of America’s Got Talent. The complaint was filed following months of Union attempting to negotiate. Simon Cowell’s Syco, FremantleMedia and NBC Universal were each named in the complaint filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. During this time, Union had also come forward with an accusation that former NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her for speaking out publicly about racism she had experienced on-set.
Back in May, Union broke her silence in a Variety cover story. She expressed the weight she felt as a marginalized woman in Hollywood. The story also detailed an incident including a racist joke told by Jay Leno and an instance where a contestant donned blackface. No one was held accountable for these inappropriate incidents.
When asked why she’d decided to publicly speak about her treatment on the show, in the previously mentioned Variety story Union shared, “At the end of all this, my goal is real change — and not just on this show but for the larger parent company. It starts from the top down.”
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