Gabrielle Union, 47, has taken action against America’s Got Talent producers after her exit in November 2019. The former judge — who appeared for just one season on the popular NBC series — filed a complaint of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on Thursday, June 4. The move comes months after Gabrielle has publicly claimed to have experienced racism and “toxic work culture” at the show during her time.
NBCUniversal and Syco productions of Simon Cowell are named in the lawsuit, made by her attorney Bryan Freedman, along with NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy. Gabrielle describes experiencing “racist and misogynistic conduct” based on documents, as well as alleging that Telegdy was threatening “to silence Union in the media, but attempting to silence Union from making any further comments.”
After reports emerged that her hairstyles were “too black” for the AGT viewers, the image was included in a montage curated by her hairstylist Larry Sims. Although the filing is not a lawsuit, the DFEH filing often precedes legal cases.
Gabrielle Union’s attorney Bryan Freedman said, “When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of America’s Got Talent, NBC did not ‘stand’ with her in ‘outrage at acts of racism.’ Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved.” reports HL.
The complaint comes just over six months after Gabrielle and 31-year-old Julianne Hough decides to leave the series. Variety reports surfaced shortly after Gabrielle had experienced discrimination and racial prejudice during her work on the show, including being told that some of her hairstyles were “too black” for viewers of the AGT.
Furthermore, it was reported that Gabrielle had gone to NBC’s Department of Human Resources after the comedian Jay Leno had made an offensive joke aimed at the Asian community (the joke was cut before air).