Belfast Telegraph

Gabrielle Union responds to America’s Got Talent controversy

Simon Cowell’s show has been marred by criticism over claims of a ‘toxic’ work environment.

Gabrielle Union has thanked fans for their support after husband Dwayne Wade said she was sacked from her judging role on America’s Got Talent (Ian West/PA)
Gabrielle Union has thanked fans for their support after husband Dwayne Wade said she was sacked from her judging role on America’s Got Talent (Ian West/PA)

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Gabrielle Union has thanked fans for their support after husband Dwayne Wade said she was sacked from her judging role on America’s Got Talent.

Simon Cowell’s hit show has been marred by controversy over claims of a “toxic” work environment.

It was announced Union, 47, and fellow judge Julianne Hough, 31, would both be leaving the series after joining earlier this year.

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Gabrielle Union has responded to the controversy surrounding America’s Got Talent after she left the show (PA)

Both women were subject to “excessive notes” on their physical appearance during their one-season stint on the show, according to US outlet Variety.

Variety also reported Union’s contract was not renewed after she expressed concerns over racially sensitive segments in the programme.

Union, an actress and singer known for film roles including Bring It On and Bad Boys II, has now responded to the controversy.

She tweeted: “So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”

NBC, the network which broadcasts America’s Got Talent, said in a joint statement with series producer Fremantle: “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.”

Hough, a professional dancer, said she had a “wonderful time” on America’s Got Talent, adding: “I loved working with the cast, crew, and producers.”

A representative for Cowell has been approached for comment.

Former professional basketball player Wade, said his wife was “fired,” writing on Twitter he is “waiting on a good answer” as to why.

He added: “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— I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US.”

Show creator Cowell, 60, is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent, alongside comedian Howie Mandel. Both are expected to return for the next season, as is host Terry Crews.

Replacements for Union and Hough, who filled spots vacated by Mel B and Heidi Klum, have not been announced.

PA

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