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Gabrielle Union mixed things up on NBC's America's Got Talent Season 14 (along with fellow newcomer Julianne Hough) but was dropped by the series in late November after only one season of judging, and reports subsequently began to circulate that Union was let go from the series after making complaints about a toxic culture on the job. Now, NBC has released a statement along with America's Got Talent producer Fremantle and AGT judge Simon Cowell's Syco entertainment company, addressing the reports and shedding light on what happens next.
NBC, Fremantle, and Syco released the joint statement (via Variety) saying this:
We remain 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.
According to this statement, NBC and Co. haven't cut ties completely with Gabrielle Union but are rather working with her regarding the circumstances of her departure from America's Got Talent and the network. That said, the statement is also clear that the network and producers are working with her via representatives, and there is no clue of what next steps will be taken, if any at all.
Rumors surrounding the circumstances leading to Gabrielle Union being let go by America's Got Talent indicate that there could be a lot for the various parties to dig into moving forward. Women of Hollywood, including Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo (who also blasted NBC for allegedly protecting Matt Lauer), Jameela Jamil of The Good Place, and former Chicago P.D. actress Sophia Bush (who has been open with her feelings about misconduct on TV shows in the past), came to Union's defense on social media.
Following the statement from NBC, the SAG-AFTRA labor union announced a probe that will investigate the situation, which Deadline states is still in an early stage but likely to be a priority due to how the claims made have been handled by the show, the network, and producers. The statement from SAG-AFTRA elaborates on what's happening:
We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member. 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.
The situation seemingly isn't going away any time soon now that the network and Hollywood's actors union have weighed in, although the SAG-AFTRA statement notes that the investigation hasn't yielded any results worth reporting just yet. The process of resolving how Gabrielle Union was allegedly let go due to complaints about a toxic workplace may be lengthy, but only time will tell.