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Heidi Klum Defends Her Statements on 'America's Got Talent' and Gabrielle Union Firing

Gettyimages | Emma McIntyre
By Zachary Holt

Heidi Klum, the model and former America's Got Talent judge, is being brought back to the show for the Champions special that is set to appear. This, of course, is amid the firing of both Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, who were only judges on the talent show for one season.

After their dismissal, Union cited there being racial and discriminatory practices by the producers and guests judges, sparking a massive controversy for the NBC network and it's executive personnel.

Fast forward to the present and Heidi Klum has made some comments comparing her experience with Union's and suffice it to say, it's ruffling some feather. However, Klum is not backing down from her comments.

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'To Me, Everyone Treats You with the Utmost Respect'

Giphy | America's Got Talent

Klum's original comments were made on the Television Critics Association press tour where she defended the show and the respect that everyone on it has for one another.

"I've only had an amazing experience," she said. "I can't speak for her. I didn't experience the same thing. To me, everyone treats you with the utmost respect. I’ve never seen anything that was weird or hurtful." For Klum, though, she seemed to be ignoring the bigger problem present.

"Of course, there's always this cat-and-dog fight, but this is fun," the supermodel continued. "You say something silly. For me, being on television, I want to entertain people. I want people to have a good time. I want people to go away from their life for two hours and just have fun and enjoy."

Backlash Over Klum's Comments Amid Gabrielle Union Controversy

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

Of course, people were quick to call her out for claiming that her experience on the show was directly applicable to others, and especially Union, who purported that racial undertones and practices were the reason for her controversial exit as a judge.

Still, Klum believed that the people that worked on the show were generally good people and that she had an 'amazing' experience during her time working as a panel judge. The model would have the opportunity to clarify her statements in an interview with People Magazine.

Klum Clarifies Comments In Interview with People Magazine

Gettyimages | Amy Sussman

Speaking with People, Klum was asked to clarify her statements that sparked outrage among those who have defended Union and her seemingly unjust firing. Klum was up to the task and defended her comments, while also acknowledging that everyone's experiences are different.

"Recently, a reporter asked me to share my thoughts about Gabrielle Union’s experiences while working as a judge on America's Got Talent," she began. "I told the reporter that I had not experienced similar issues while I was a judge on the show — my experience was a positive one. I can only speak of my own truth, and by no means is that meant to negate or question Gabrielle's truth."

Heidi Shares Her Own Racial Discrimination She's Experienced

Gettyimages | NBC

Klum would go on to say that she believes everyone should be treated equally and fairly, no matter what. "I am aware that my experience may not be the same as Gabrielle's," Klum continued. "What I can tell you is that I am a fierce advocate for all people, no matter their race, age, religion, gender or sexuality. Everyone should be treated equally and with utmost respect."

"Personally, I have experienced very hurtful things while being married to a man of color and having three beautiful children with him. While everyone’s challenges are different, I want nothing more than for a just world and for people to be kinder to one another," she concluded.

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