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'America's Got Talent' Finds Itself in Even Hotter Water After Jay Leno's Racist Joke

Gettyimages | Christopher Polk/NBC
By Natalie Hunter

'America's Got Talent' is currently under fire for being a toxic environment. On top of the current discrimination accusations, Jay Leno was accused of making a racist joke during filming.

According to Variety, the joke that the allegations are centered around was made when Jay Leno appeared as a guest host for 'America's Got Talent' in April. Leno was looking at a picture of Simon Cowell surrounded by dogs and the former talk show host joked that the dogs looked like something "on the menu at a Korean restaurant."

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Gettyimages | NBC

According to PopCulture, four crew members that were present for filming reported the incident to Variety. The Asian crew members that were on set as the joke was made were offended by it.

The Leno allegation is not a good look for 'America's Got Talent.' The show was recently exposed as being a toxic and prejudice environment after Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were let go from the show. Anyone watching the show might notice that Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell have been on from the start.

Giphy | Got Talent Global

Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were only on for one season after replacing Heidi Klum and Mel B. This unfortunately, has been a common trend for talent reality TV competitions. 'The Voice' and 'American Idol' tend to rotate out their female judges more frequently than male judges.

Since Hough and Union have been let go, sources have spoken out about the way the women were treated while filming. Hough has denied the claims stating that she"loved working with the cast, crew and producers"

Giphy | America's Got Talent

However, Gabrielle Union wasn't afraid to agree. The sources told Variety that the women were constantly given notes on their appearance. Hough received critiques on her outfits, makeup, and hair while Union was told that her hairstyles were "too black" numerous times.

Gabrielle Union-backed these claims and supported another accusation of 'AGT' allowing a white man to perform impersonations as people of color. While Union begged for him to to be able to perform, producers allowed him to go in front of an audience and cut the act later.

Gettyimages | Rachel Luna

Nick Cannon also hasn't been afraid to speak out against the show. He joked about how NBC tried to control him during his comedy routine.

"I was to be punished for a joke ... My soul won't allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices," Nick Cannon wrote on social media. "Not to get too detailed but this isn't the first time executives have attempted to 'put me in my place' for so-called unruly actions."

'AGT' seems to be running business as usual [promoting 'AGT: The Champions'] (

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