Heidi Klum defends 'AGT,' says she was treated with the 'utmost respect'

Nothing bad to say. Heidi Klum was extremely positive when reflecting on her time as a judge on America’s Got Talent for six years — despite any negative reports about the show’s culture.

“I’ve only had an amazing experience. I can’t speak for [Gabrielle Union]. I didn’t experience the same thing,” Klum, 46, told Us Weekly and other reporters at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour on Tuesday, January 14. “To me, everyone treats you with the utmost respect. I’ve never seen anything that was weird or hurtful.”

Shortly after news broke that Union, 47, would not be returning as a judge after just one season, reports surfaced that claimed she was fired for speaking up about racist remarks made on set. She also allegedly received complaints from staff that her hairstyles were “too black.” Another report claimed that she didn’t get along with judge and executive producer Simon Cowell.

However, the supermodel, who was promoting her new series Making the Cut, didn’t have any negative times on the competition series.

“Six years I was there. I loved it. Of course, there’s always this cat and dog fight, but this is fun. … I mean also it’s like, ‘Everyone relax a little bit.’ For me, being on television, I want to entertain people. I want people to have a good time,” the former Project Runway host explained. “I want people to, like, get away from their life for two hours and just have fun and enjoy.”

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PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend Loubhoutan Express presentation at La Garde Republicaine on July 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images For Christian Louboutin)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 03, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 01: (L-R) Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the Carine Roitfeld Parfums "7 lovers" : Cocktail At The Peninsula Hotel In Paris on July 01, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the Valentino Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2019 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 03, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 01: (L-R) Tom Kaulitz and Heidi Klum attend the Carine Roitfeld Parfums "7 lovers" : Cocktail At The Peninsula Hotel In Paris on July 01, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 30: Tom Kaulitz and Heidi Klum attend the Amfar Gala At The Peninsula Hotel In Paris on June 30, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 30: Tom Kaulitz and Heidi Klum attend the Amfar Gala At The Peninsula Hotel In Paris on June 30, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Bill Kaulitz, Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz look on prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Heidi Klum poses for a photograph with boyfriend Tom Kaulitz prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 18: Tom Kaulitz and his fiance Heidi Klum and Bill Kaulitz during the 3rd ABOUT YOU Awards at Bavaria Studios on April 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for ABOUT YOU)
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 18: Bill Kaulitz, Heidi Klum and her partner Tom Kaulitz during the 3rd ABOUT YOU Awards at Bavaria Studios on April 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for ABOUT YOU)
HONG KONG - MARCH 25: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attends the amfAR Gala Hong Kong 2019 at the Rosewood Hong Kong on March 25, 2019 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Edwin Koo/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, CHINA - MARCH 24: Model Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the celebrating party of The Jewelry of Lorraine Schwartz, 'Arts In All Its Forms' at Artus on March 24, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz attend the 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party sponsored by IMDb and Neuro Drinks celebrating EJAF and the 91st Academy Awards on February 24, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Tom Kaulitz and Heidi Klum attend the 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Celebrating EJAF And The 91st Academy Awards on February 24, 2019 at the City of West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage )
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06: Tom Kaulitz, Heidi Klum arrives at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awardsat The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 07: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz are seen on January 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz attend the 2019 InStyle and Warner Bros. 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for InStyle)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 06: Tom Kaulitz (L) and Heidi Klum attend the Amazon Prime Video's Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz, in Fiona and Shrek Halloween costume, were seen out in Manhattan on October 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz, in Fiona and Shrek Halloween costume, were seen out in Manhattan on October 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the 70th Emmy Awards - Arrivals at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz are seen on August 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
PORTO CERVO, ITALY - AUGUST 10: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the Unicef Summer Gala Presented by Luisaviaroma cocktail party at Villa Violina on August 10, 2018 in Porto Cervo, Italy. (Photo by Anthony Ghnassia/Getty Images for UNICEF)
PORTO CERVO, ITALY - AUGUST 10: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend a photocall for the Unicef Summer Gala Presented by Luisaviaroma at Villa Violina on August 10, 2018 in Porto Cervo, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for UNICEF)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum and her boyfriend Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)
CAP D'ANTIBES, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dave Benett/amfAR/Dave Benett/WireImage for amfAR)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dave Benett/amfAR/Dave Benett/WireImage for amfAR)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz arrive at the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz are seen at LAX on April 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG022/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz attend the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 dinner at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
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She also explained that Cowell, 60, would make jokes a lot but they were just that: jokes. Klum was a judge on the NBC series from season 8 until season 13. For season 14, she and Mel B exited the show and Union and Julianne Hough joined for one season. Klum later joined the spinoff, America’s Got Talent: Champions, which is currently airing.

NBC is currently investigating the claims about the toxic culture on set. On December 1, NBC, Fremantle and Cowell’s company, Syco, spoke out in a statement.

“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the companies stated. “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.”

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