Many A-listers have shown support for Union while urging NBC to better its practices ever since news broke that she and fellow freshman judge Julianne Hough were let go of the competition series after just one season.
The latest celebrities to speak out — Eva Longoria, Shonda Rhimes and Amber Tamblyn — have shared a Time’s Up petition, calling for the network to “fix its toxic workplace culture” with “concrete and long-term action.”
“What @gabunion experienced on set at @NBC’s #AmericasGotTalent is unacceptable,” Longoria posted to Instagram Monday night. “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.”
Rhimes and Tamblyn also shared links to the aforementioned petition, along with the following copy on Twitter: “I’m with @itsgabrielleu. @NBCUniversal: Discrimination, harassment & retaliation have no place on #AmericasGotTalent or any workplace. I’m joining @TIMESUPNOW in calling on NBC’s leadership to take concrete and long-term action to fix its toxic culture.”
I’m with @itsgabrielleu. @NBCUniversal: Discrimination, harassment & retaliation have no place on #AmericasGotTalent or in any workplace. I’m joining @TIMESUPNOW in calling on NBC’s leadership to take concrete and long-term action to fix its toxic culture. https://t.co/ko1aPVLnrR
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) December 2, 2019
I’m with @itsgabrielleu. @NBCUniversal: Discrimination, harassment & retaliation have no place on #AmericasGotTalent or any workplace. I’m joining @TIMESUPNOW in calling on NBC’s leadership to take concrete and long-term action to fix its toxic culture.https://t.co/IBSQMBTHi8
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) December 2, 2019
Union’s contract was allegedly terminated for next season because she spoke up about racist and inappropriate behavior she encountered while serving as a judge on the talent competition series, causing her to be labeled “difficult” and subsequently asked to leave. She reportedly endured and witnessed racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance, as did Hough.
Since then, Union’s husband, Dwyane Wade, as well as Ariana Grande, Ellen Pompeo and Lin-Manuel Miranda have publicly stated their support for the actress. Howard Stern, a former “AGT” judge, went so far as to point his finger at show creator Simon Cowell, suggesting the British TV exec “orchestrated” the situation because “he sets it up that the men stay no matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are.” Stern feels Cowell “constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks.”
TooFab has contacted Cowell regarding Stern’s comments.
Sharon Osbourne, who also served as an “AGT” judge, said she had her problems as well, but they weren’t with the show itself. It was issues with the network that convinced her to leave.
Initially, NBC, Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and show producer Fremantle insisted that any on-set issues were always taken seriously and that panel rotation was just part of the show’s natural cycle, but on Sunday, they issued the following joint statement:
“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.”
Union is reportedly meeting with NBC’s legal representatives this week in an effort “to improve the culture and atmosphere on the competition series,” per Deadline. She is not expected to return to the show.
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