SAG-AFTRA to expand America's Got Talent probe

Gabrielle Union

SAG-AFTRA bosses are to expand their investigation into Gabrielle Union's departure from America's Got Talent to look into Orlando Jones' firing from American Gods.

Officials from the entertainers' union took up the case earlier this month after Union went public with complaints of racial and gender discrimination following her exit from the NBC talent show after just one season as a judge.

After meeting with Union and assessing Jones' claims his firing from American Gods was racially motivated, they have widened their investigation into Fremantle Media, the firm that produces both series.

"After initial meetings with Gabrielle Union and her representatives about her experiences on America's Got Talent, and after learning more about Orlando Jones's experience on American Gods, SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media," SAG-AFTRA bosses said in a statement to Variety on Friday.

"Our enforcement actions are handled confidentially to protect the members involved, and we typically do not publicise these matters unless the affected members request that we do so. We have nothing further to report at this time."

Union was let go from the NBC series in November amid reports she had witnessed workplace toxicity, allegations she later confirmed, and accused producers of failing to act on complaints about racially insensitive jokes and comments made behind the scenes.

Earlier this month, Jones blamed American Gods' showrunner Charles 'Chic' Eglee for his firing in a video on Twitter. He claimed that they had clashed over his character Mr. Nancy's "angry gets s**t done" persona as Eglee apparently thought it was the "wrong message for black America".

Fremantle officially denied his allegations, claiming that his contract was not renewed as Mr. Nancy is not featured in the portion of Neil Gaiman's book they are adapting for season three of the hit fantasy show.


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