NBC Ends ‘America’s Got Talent’ Investigation, Denies Remarks About Gabrielle Union’s Appearance
NBC launched its own investigation into the claim. Find out what the network’s rep said and more.
Gabrielle Union was reportedly criticized for her appearance
A report was released shortly after it was announced Union wasn’t returning after one season. Variety reported Union and Julianne Hough were repeatedly criticized for their appearance while working on the show.
They were reportedly given notes about this. Hough was reportedly criticized for her hair, makeup and wardrobe. Union often changed her hairstyles and they were reportedly considered “too black” for the show’s audience.
Hough denied the reporting about her being criticized for her looks. “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. Hough worked with NBC again for her Holidays With the Houghs special with her brother, Derek Hough. She was also not asked to return for another season.
There was a report that Union complained about Simon Cowell smoking indoors while they worked. Variety also reported that she complained about Jay Leno making a racist joke while filming and pushed for it to be reported to human resources, but it wasn’t reported.
SAG-AFTRA launched an investigation into ‘America’s Got Talent’
SAG-AFTRA launched an investigation after these reports were released. They gave a statement to Page Six with:
We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.
NBC ended its investigation
Page Six reports that NBC has ended its investigation around the reports of Union’s exit. A rep also released a statement about the findings.
“When we heard Ms. Union had concerns about her time on the show, we took them extremely seriously,” the rep said. The rep claimed Fremantle and Syco “immediately engaged an outside investigator who conducted more than 30 interviews to review the issues raised by Ms. Union.”
There were some needs of improvement found through the investigation. “While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved,” the rep claimed.
They then added the investigation “revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union’s appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time.”
The previous reports called into question whether Union’s exit had to do with all of the alleged incidents she spoke out about while working. The rep said, “The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract.”
The newest season of America’s Got Talent premiered with Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum as judges. The results from SAG-AFTRA’s investigation has yet to be released.