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Julianne Hough Says Gabrielle Union Hasn't Returned Her Call After ‘AGT’ Firing, Supports Her Speaking Out

By Ryan Naumann

Julianne Hough is now showing support her former co-host Gabrielle Union for speaking out against the alleged toxic work environment on “America’s Got Talent.”

Hough sat down with NBC’s The Today Show to talk about the “America’s Got Talent” scandal.

After the original reports of a toxic work environment, Hough denied the allegations and released a statement, “I had a wonderful time on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.” Hough has two NBC Christmas specials airing this month.

Hough has remained quite silent on the matter besides her original statement in the days since the controversy erupted.

On “The Today Show”, Hough decided to expand, “I commend Gabrielle for speaking her truth and starting a conversation. I’m also really proud of NBC as well for showing up and starting a narrative, and that’s what’s going to change the workplace and the paradigm that we’ve been working in for many, many years, and it’s shifting, and I think that’s really, really exciting.”

Hough continued, “Life is crazy and sometimes you can’t control things, and when obstacles come your way you have to be graceful about it and have integrity. I think that people with authenticity and integrity will create change.”

She hasn’t spoken to Union since they left the show. Hough claims Union didn’t answer her call, “I have reached out. I think we both have been very busy. Hopefully, when I get back to LA later this afternoon we can have a conversation.”

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Earlier this month, Union and Hough were fired as judges on “America’s Got Talent.” The two reportedly complained to HR about a “toxic” work environment prior to being let go.

One incident involved Jay Leno filming a segment for the show. The judges were shooting with Leno when he made a joke about a painting of Simon Cowell with his dogs. He said the photo looked like something you would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”

Union and Hough were allegedly subjected to excessive notes on their physical appearance. Union reportedly had to deal with execs calling her changing hairstyles “too black.”

NBC and Freemantle released a joint statement defending themselves. It read, “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.”


NBC and Union sat down this week to try to find a resolution. Following the talk Union tweeted, “We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”

Union’s husband Dwyane Wade has strongly supported his wife amid the drama.

He wrote, “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 continued, “So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? Iam 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.”

“As proud as i were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— Iam even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US,” he added.

He ended, “So 🥂 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‼️.”

Union has thanked her fans for supporting her amid the drama.

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