Eva Longoria, Ellen Pompeo and more stars rally around Gabrielle Union after 'AGT' exit
Stars are offering their support to Gabrielle Union following her exit from America's Got Talent.
It was revealed last week that Union and Julianne Hough would not be returning to the talent competition for the 2020 season; days later, Variety published a report claiming that Union had expressed concern about the show's "toxic culture" to NBC's Human Resources department.
NBC and Fremantle, the production company behind AGT, responded to the report with a statement praising AGT's long history of "inclusivity and diversity," and explaining that its judging line-up is regularly "refreshed." However, Union's husband, Dwyane Wade, claimed on Twitter that the actress was fired.
Still, a source recently told ET that Union that she isn't shutting the door on NBC.
"Although Gabrielle is done with AGT, she wants to work with NBC to help improve the culture surrounding the show and studio," the source said. "Gabrielle has always been an activist and wants to make positive change so nothing like this happens again."
Since the drama, a number of stars have publicly rallied around Union. Eva Longoria took to Instagram to show support for her friend, and called Union's AGT experience "unacceptable."
"What @gabunion experienced on set at @NBC’s #AmericasGotTalent is unacceptable," she wrote. "It's time for @NBCUniversal to commit to long-term, concrete action to fix its toxic workplace culture and ensure safety and equity for all its workers. Add your name through @timesupnow Instagram story. #TimeUp on the imbalance of power. ✊🏼."
Ellen Pompeo also took to Twitter to weigh in on the situation, rallying around Union and encouraging others to do the same.
"It’s unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it...has not changed their practices or culture. I support @itsgabrielleu commitment to speaking up to injustice. It takes courage," Pompeo began her series of tweets.
"This is a teaching moment..It’s important," she continued. "White girls I’m talking to you..whether you truly understand what racial injustice is or not..that you stand with your sisters on the front lines. Don’t cut side deals & don’t not get involved because it isn’t your issue..because it is."
Pompeo added: "Workplace cultures will continue to be toxic until there is unity and solidarity among all women. If you go for self in these moments you undermine the work we are out here trying to do. Obviously this network feels like they can operate like this and it’s okay."
"With that said GIRLS....instead of wack jugglers and messy Simon Cowell watch @ReeseW and Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show!! Soooo much better. Hard to believe these networks are still getting away with this. Our work continues @itsgabrielleu ❤️," she concluded.
"Thank you for this @EllenPompeo. be better @nbc. we’re with you @itsgabrielleu. 🖤," Ariana Grande added.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote on Wednesday, "Team @itsgabrielleu, always."
See more tweets in support for Union below:
Union spoke out for the first time following her departure on Wednesday night. "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," she tweeted.
According to Variety, among the alleged incidents that occurred during Union's time on the show was an act that she found racially insensitive during the audition rounds. Additionally, sources claimed to the outlet that Union received specific critical network notes on her hairstyles, which were allegedly deemed "too black" for the AGT audience, and that she received these notes numerous times. A network insider denied the volume of those notes to Variety, claiming that there were only notes about "hair continuity" for both her and Hough.
NBC and Fremantle's statement to ET following the report read: "America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. 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."