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Gabrielle Union's 'AGT' Firing And Treatment Sparks Actors Union Investigation

By Mike Walters

Gabrielle Union's treatment on the set of America's Got Talent has sparked an investigation by the actors union SAG-AFTRA, who says they will look into reports about the culture of racism and sexism on the show.

A spokesperson for the organization said in a statement, “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."

The organization made it clear they will conduct their investigation independent from the network or management of the show. “For certain matters, our investigation and enforcement needs to happen independently and we are prepared to handle this issue accordingly, as warranted," they said.

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SAG/AFTRA Investigates


They continued, “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.”

'America's Got Talent' execs have been accused of treating Union unfairly, and at times she was allegedly subjected to criticism over her physical appearance. Several reports claim Union asked producers to speak with human resources about a joke told by guest judge Jay Leno. The joke involved a picture and Leno allegedly making a joke about people of Asian descent eating the animals. The report claimed Union's request to speak with HR was never fulfilled.

Also, sources on the set claimed Union was told several times that her hairstyles were “too black” for the show’s audience.

Just A Judge Line-Up Change?

Giphy | Got Talent Global

NBC responded to the allegations with a statement, saying, "America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously."

Gabrielle's husband Dwayne Wade came out defending his wife saying he is proud she stood up for what she believes in and what is right. He also made it a point to show how successful she was on the show.

Dwayne Wade Defends His Wife


"Men lie, Women lie, numbers don’t.’ Over this past year I’ve been approached by many people saying that my wife @itsgabrielleu is the main reason they’ve started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show," Wade wrote on Twitter.

He continued, "So when I got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!?” I am still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.”

Standing Up for What's Right


The NBA star ended with showing how proud he is of his wife for the accomplishments in her career, "As proud as I were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US. So [cheers] to you @itsgabrielleu on not losing sight of the lessons we’ve talked about teaching our daughter and for kicking ass while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world."

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