Time’s Up speaks out regarding Gabrielle Union’s exit from ‘America’s Got Talent’
Time’s Up is supporting Gabrielle Union in the wake of her controversial exit from “America’s Got Talent.”
Tina Tchen, president and chief executive officer of Time’s Up Now, released a statement Monday stating, “Gabrielle Union’s experience at ‘America’s Got Talent’ is exemplary of the double bind that black women face at work.”
“Not only did Union reportedly endure and witness racist and inappropriate behavior — including racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance — but it also appears she was punished for speaking out: the company labeled her as ‘difficult’ before ousting her from the show altogether,” the statement read. “Union’s story is deeply troubling on its own, but her experience is particularly problematic because it follows a pattern of NBCUniversal protecting the careers of powerful men at the expense of women who speak out.”
It was recently announced that the actress, along with fellow “AGT” judge Julianne Hough, would not be returning for the second season of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which premieres January 6.
Variety had published a report alleging Union had been fired after urging the show’s producers to report an incident involving a racist joke to human resources and after producers told her multiple times that her hairstyles on the show were “too black.”
A separate report by Vulture alleged that there was workplace tension between Union and Simon Cowell, a judge and an executive producer on the series, in part, over Cowell’s habit of smoking on set, which is illegal in California.
CNN has not independently confirmed these allegations.
NBC said in a statement to CNN on Monday they are working with Union to “hear more about her concerns.”
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the statement read. “We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”
Representatives for Union and “America’s Got Talent” have not responded to CNN’s requests for comment. about the specific allegations.
On Sunday, Union retweeted a post from freelance writer Joelle Monique which listed steps on the proper way to apologize.
“This! This! AND THIIISSSSSSS!!!!!!,” Union wrote on her retweet.