Julianne Hough has no complaints about her brief stint as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
Hough issued a statement on Tuesday and sounded positive about her time on the popular show.
“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’s statement was in response to being mentioned in a story by Variety yesterday that focuses on the ousting of Hough and Gabrielle Union from the reality talent competition during its 14th season.
Variety‘s story uncovers what Union claims is a toxic culture backstage at the show.
One disturbing incident that happened on “AGT” and reported by Variety was in reference to a white contestant who would impersonate some acts, as well as people of color, using costume changes. The contestant apparently was playing Beyonce, and came out with black hands. Nowhere is this appropriate.
The story also says Union and Hough were criticized for their wardrobe and hair choices. At the end of the season, NBC decided not to renew their contracts. Having a quick stint on the show isn’t anything new, but what is new are the allegations of racism that Union brings up.
Hough’s statement stands in contrast to two anonymous sources who spoke to Variety, who say that Hough endured remarks about her hair, her wardrobe and her makeup.
Part of this “toxic culture” stems from a joke that “America’s Got Talent” guest judge Jay Leno apparently cracked in April while the show was being taped.
Leno apparently joked:
“about a painting on display in a hallway of Simon Cowell, the show’s executive producer and judge, surrounded by his dogs. Leno joked that the pets looked like something one would find ‘on the menu at a Korean restaurant,’ four people present for the taping told Variety.
The joke was viewed as perpetuating stereotypes about Asian cultures consuming dog meat.”
Variety adds that others thought the joke was offensive too, making note of the fact that there are “very few Asian staffers” there. But one staffer of Asian descent was there to hear the “joke” being delivered.
The rules are simple: if someone finds a joke offensive, then it is offensive.
Union says she encountered racist comments about her look, including her hairstyle, which she says they deemed was “too black.” Union apparently got that criticism more than six times.
Union issued a complaint about Leno’s tasteless remark, but it apparently never made it to Human Resources.