SAG-AFTRA has launched an investigation following reports that Gabrielle Union was fired from America's Got Talent after raising concerns about a toxic workplace culture and being told her hairstyles were "too black."
After serving as a judge on the competition show's 14th season, Union is not being brought back for season 15. Last week, Variety reported Union was told numerous times during her time with the show that her "rotating hair styles were 'too black'" and that she raised concerns about an offensive joke made by Jay Leno and an insensitive performance. Vulture subsequently reported that Union brought up concerns about "racist incidents" and "[Simon] Cowell's habit of smoking indoors," and she tried "to keep the show from misgendering contestants."
Union was "deeply frustrated and concerned about the workplace environment," Vulture reported, and she was allegedly let go because she was seen as "difficult," although one source disputed this and said she was simply "rotated out."
The SAG-AFTRA union has now launched an investigation, saying in a statement, "We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously," Deadline reports. "While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now."
In a new statement, NBC and America's Got Talent's production companies said, "We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture." They add, "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."
Union on Twitter Sunday quote-tweeted an explanation of what a proper apology looks like, and, presumably with the producers of America's Got Talent in mind, wrote, "This! This! AND THIIISSSSSSS!!!!!!" Brendan Morrow