‘America’s Got Talent’: Julianne Hough Responds to a Rumor She Was Criticized for Her Appearance for Filming

Once again the cast of America’s Got Talent is changing. Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union won’t be back after judging for just one season.

There are a lot of rumored details coming out about the reason for this change. Union reported racism on set is one of the rumored reasons. Another is that both of the newcomers were criticized for their appearance throughout filming. Find out what Hough has to say about that and more.

Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough won’t return to ‘America’s Got Talent’

The new judges joined the show by replacing Heidi Klum and Mel B for season 14. Union and Hough won’t be returning next season, which is strange even for the show that often changes the judging panel.

“[Gabrielle’s] contract was not renewed after being the #1 talent on the show, NBC and network TV,” a source from NBC told Love B Scott. “She set the record for her Golden Buzzer.” 

The insider also claimed one person made the decision. “They only replace the women and Blacks at Simon [Cowell]’s whim,” said the source. “She wouldn’t walk away from $12 million because she’s ‘busy.’ Based on weekly interactions on social media, by the time AGT finale aired Gabrielle was the #1 talent on network TV for 2019. Why not pick up someone’s option in extreme success?”

It was later rumored that Union was fired for speaking out against racism in the work environment. One of the rumored incidents was from when Jay Leno taped a segment and made a joke about a painting of Simon Cowell surrounded by dogs.

Leno reportedly joked the dogs looked like something “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” Union reportedly asked producers to report this to human resources at NBC. This was reportedly not brought to the department after it was mentioned to a NBC executive on set.

There was rumor that Union and Hough were criticized for their appearance

There was another rumor about the environment on set. Sources claimed that the women were given many notes on their appearance, according to Variety. Two mysterious insiders claimed Hough’s hair, makeup, and wardrobe were often criticized to the point that there was tension.

Union reportedly was accused of sporting different hairstyles that were “too Black” for the reality program’s audience. This note was reportedly given to her over half a dozen times. Another source claimed the notes were more tied to keeping hair continuity for both Union and Hough.

Hough claimed she had a wonderful time on the show

Julianne Hough attends NBC and Vanity Fair's celebration
Julianne Hough attends NBC and Vanity Fair’s celebration | Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Hough denied this rumor. “I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC,” she said in a statement given to Variety. She added, “I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”

The dancer won’t be back on the talent show, but her time with NBC isn’t over. She mentioned that NBC will be airing Holidays With the Houghs, which features her with her brother Derek. There is also Christmas in Rockefeller Center that will air in December. Union hasn’t addressed any of these rumors yet.