Entertainment

Gabrielle Union and NBC settle America's Got Talent dispute

Union was fired from her role as a judge on the show after a single season.

Gabrielle Union has settled her dispute with US TV network NBC after alleging there was a toxic environment on the set of America’s Got Talent.

Union, who is black, was fired from her role as a judge on the talent show – which was created by Simon Cowell – and alleged her sacking was a result of speaking out against racism and sexism.

In a discrimination complaint, she complained about Cowell allegedly smoking on set and said there was an “excessive focus” on female judges’ appearances.

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union has settled her dispute with NBC over America’s Got Talent (Ian West/PA)

Responding to the claims in July, an NBCUniversal spokesman said an external investigation had found an “overarching culture of diversity” on America’s Got Talent.

Both parties have now announced they have now come to an agreement.

In a joint statement, representatives for Union and NBC said: “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.”

Union, an actress known for films including Bring It On and Bad Boys II, left America’s Got Talent in 2019 after a single season.

Julianne Hough, her fellow new judge, also left after one season. In June, Union filed a discrimination complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and made a string of allegations.

She alleged she was sacked for a “refusal to remain silent in the face of a toxic culture”, which her lawyers said included racist jokes and performances.

Paul Telegdy, the now-former chairman of NBC Entertainment, allegedly “threatened” Union when she complained.

NBCUniversal said it is “categorically untrue” that anyone from the company threatened Union.

Union also alleged she was discriminated against because of her hair. According to the complaint, an NBC executive told Union’s manager her hair was “too wild” and that it needed to be “toned down”.

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