Gabrielle Union complained to bosses about America's Got Talent's 'toxic culture' - report

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union made multiple complaints to America's Got Talent bosses about the show's "toxic culture", it has been claimed.

The 47-year-old actress served as a judge on the U.S. TV show for this year's season, alongside Julianne Hough, but it was announced earlier this month that neither of the women will be returning for the next series of the show.

Now, a report has been published by Variety, which details numerous situations which left Union uncomfortable - such as when guest judge Jay Leno made a racially insensitive joke while visiting the show's offices.

"Leno made a crack about a painting on display in a hallway of Simon Cowell, the show's executive producer and judge, surrounded by his dogs. Leno joked that the pets looked like something one would find 'on the menu at a Korean restaurant'," four people who were allegedly present at the time of the quip told the publication.

Union allegedly asked producers to report the incident to Human Resources but, following a conversation with a NBC executive, it never was.

Other incidents Union complained about included one involving a white male contestant, who wowed the audience with his quick changes between costumes. At one point, he donned dark make-up to look like Beyonce - which angered Union and led to her objecting to the contestant being in the show. While the audition was cut before the show aired, the contestant was apparently still allowed to audition.

The Variety report also claims that both Union and Hough were consistently given "excessive notes on their physical appearance," which had a big impact on morale among the panel - particularly for Hough.

However, Hough denied the claims by saying, "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."

Meanwhile, NBC hit back at the report in their own statement, which read: "America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show.

"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."

Union has yet to publicly respond to the allegations.


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