Tyra Banks praises Gabrielle Union amid America's Got Talent exit drama

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks has spoken out in support of Gabrielle Union amid claims she was fired from America's Got Talent for reporting a "toxic" culture on set.

The Being Mary Jane actress was dumped from the reality show's judging panel in November after just one season, with reports claiming she raised a number of race and gender-related issues that were not reported to network bosses at NBC.

Current show host Terry Crews recently dismissed Union's claims, calling the show "the most diverse place that I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment" - but former presenter Banks, who hosted the show in 2017 and 2018, appears to be backing Union.

"I almost kind of like dipped my toe in and left, so I'm not really immersed in the culture," the former America's Next Top Model star told Yahoo. "Like people ask me about Victoria's Secret, I can wax poetic about that - I was there for 10 years."

She added that she was proud of Union, explaining: "What I love about what she did is she was very vulnerable. I wasn't super close to it, but I saw some of her tweets.

"I thought it was maybe beautiful... how she wasn't speaking in anger, she's speaking in pain like 'I'm trying to get through this... and I'm crying'."

Union has since had a "productive" meeting with network bosses at NBC to address her concerns, while officials at entertainers' union SAG-AFTRA have launched their own investigation into her firing.

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