News broke last week that hosts Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough would not be returning as judges for season 15 of America’s Got Talent. Both Union and Hough joined the show for Season 14 as replacements for Heidi Klum and Mel B.

It soon became clear that their leaving the show was not harmonious. Sources told the press that Union’s leave came after she reportedly spoke out regarding “problematic” situations on set. Those allegedly included a racially insensitive joke from guest judge Jay Leno, and a segment that was cut from the show including a white contestant performing racially insensitive impressions of other celebrities. There was also the issue regarding Union’s appearance, which was said to be “too black” for the show’s audience.


Union finally addressed the situation last Wednesday night when she tweeted, “So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU!,” she continued, “Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”

Celebrities like Ellen Pompeo and Lin Manuel Miranda have voiced their support for Union. Pompeo tweeted, “It’s unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it…has not changed their practices for culture. I support @itsgabrielleu commitment to speaking up to injustice. It takes courage”

Union’s husband, Dwayne Wade did not hold back his commentary on the issue as he posted a series of tweets admitting that Union was, indeed, fired.

NBC released a statement about the allegations facing the network. “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” the show said in a statement. “The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”


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