Gabrielle Union has been in the news a lot lately after reports surfaced that the actress was fired from the hit show ‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ for asking producers to take the initiative and report an incident regarding a racist joke to human resources.
In the wake of the controversy, President and chief executive of Time’s Up Now, Tina Tchen, has released a statement in support of Union.
“Gabrielle Union’s experience at ‘America’s Got Talent’ is exemplary of the double bind that black women face at work,” she said. “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 punched for speaking out: the company labeled her as ‘difficult’ before ousting her from the show altogether. 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,” Tchen wrote in the statement.
In a report by Vulture, it’s been alleged that Union may have had an issue with Simon Cowell due to his addiction to smoking on-set. However, these allegations have not yet been confirmed. Other reports claim Union’s concerns about race and discrimination on the show were swept under the rug, which, in turn, created an uncomfortable work environment for the actress.
While it’s been recently reported that Union will not be returning to the Jan. 6 season 2 premiere of the show, NBC has released a statement to CNN stating, “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. 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.”