On 23rd November, it was revealed that America’s Got Talent judges, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, would not be a part of next season.
It was shocking to receive no explanation on this subject by NBC and, according to Variety’s report, AGT is now alleged to host “toxic culture.”
The report was published on Tuesday that hinted Union to be a victim of offensive and racist remarks on the set.
Variety’s report also claimed that both female judges were highly criticized for their physical appearance, which stirred tension and toxicity at the AGT set.
According to the published report, Union had been constantly highlighting her concerns over the insensitive racial remarks during the AGT’s season. Especially, the joke made by guest judge Jay Leno had her upset. Although this racist joke was censored out of the show, it has been allegedly reported to be the main cause to end Union’s journey with AGT.
Leno is accused of making a joke about the painting on the wall that featured Simon Cowell surrounded by his dogs. According to sources, Leno said that the dogs looked like an item one would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
Since this racist remark made people on the set upset, reportedly Union urged producers to report the joke to the human resources department.
Union was told numerous times during her time at AGT that her hairstyles were “too black,” Variety quotes.
The report also highlights another incident of racism when a white male performer appeared in the guise of Beyoncé Knowles. Union believed that the performer crossed a line by painting his hands black.
Union’s husband, Dwyane Wade, took it to Twitter this Wednesday to support his wife.
He also applauded Union for brilliantly representing their community and culture.
He extended further support by telling Union that he was proud of her.
Witnessing her husband’s and fans’ support, Union finally commented on the subject matter.
Variety’s report also said that Hough was subject to “excessive notes” on her appearance. “Two insiders familiar with the set said Hough had received consistent criticism on hair, makeup and wardrobe, which impacted her morale and led to tensions,” the report reads.
Although Hough refuted this claim by Variety and issued a statement saying that she enjoyed “a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent.”
Hough also discussed her two upcoming NBC shows: Christmas in Rockefeller Center and Holiday with the Houghs.
“I loved working with the cast, crew, and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC,” Hough said.
NBC and the AGT production company, Fremantle, issued a joined statement that said: “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show.”
According to NBC and 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.”
With all this controversy going on, the names of season 15 AGT judges are yet to be decided.