Gabrielle Union’s ‘AGT’ exit prompts SAG-AFTRA investigation
Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough joined the show in Season 14. Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel and Terry Crews are expected to return, Variety reported.
After Gabrielle Union and her husband Dwyane Wade publicly commented on reports that Union’s “America’s Got Talent” exit came after she raised concerns about a toxic work environment, the SAG-AFTRA is investigating the situation.
In a written statement sent to USA TODAY by Pamela Greenwalt, a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson, the organization said it takes issues of “workplace health and safety very seriously.”
SAG-AFTRA reached out to Union’s reps after the reports surrounding her exit surfaced.
The statement continued: “For certain matters, our investigation and enforcement needs to happen independently and we are prepared to handle this issue accordingly, as warranted. Our enforcement action is usually handled confidentially to protect the member involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the member requests that we do so. While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now.”
SAG-AFTRA’s statement comes on the heels of “America’s Got Talent” announcing those involved in the show are working with Union “to hear more about her concerns.”
In a joint statement to USA TODAY from NBC, production company Fremantle and judge Simon Cowell’s entertainment company Syco, “AGT” announced it remains “committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture.”
“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,” the statement added. USA TODAY has reached out to Union’s representative for comment.
Original report: Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough will not return to ‘America’s Got Talent’
Gabrielle Union attends the “America’s Got Talent” Season 14 live show red carpet in August. (Photo: Rodin Eckenroth, FilmMagic)
A report last week from Variety described a “toxic culture” on the set of “America’s Got Talent” after news that Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough would not be returning to the reality singing competition for a second year. Variety reported that a culture of toxic, racist jokes and “excessive notes” about physical appearance were pervasive before the two freshman judges’ contracts were not renewed.
Union hasn’t addressed the controversy directly, but in her first tweet since the controversy unfolded, she thanked fans for support.
“So many tears, so much gratitude,” she tweeted Wednesday night. “THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone … you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
Several other celebrities, including Ariana Grande, Ellen Pompeo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Debra Messing and Olivia Munn have since voiced their support for Union.
‘We’re with you’: Ariana Grande, Ellen Pompeo show support for Gabrielle Union amid ‘AGT’ exit
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2019/12/01/americas-got-talent-working-gabrielle-union-workplace-concerns/4347324002/