Gabrielle Union is coming for Simon Cowell and America’s Got Talent. The star filed a racial discrimination claim against NBC and Simon Cowell, claiming that the show was “full of racism” and that her complaints during her time as a judge were not taken seriously.
NBC denied Union’s accusations and claimed that she was “difficult” to work with, leading to her dismissal as a judge. Union also claimed that black contestants were more often eliminated.
NBC responded, “Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union’s appearance and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time.”
Gabrielle’s claims also included accusations against Simon Cowell, stating that he discriminated against Black people and that he persistently smokes cigarettes on set.
Gabrielle spoke about the dispute on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, saying, “When your boss, the person who has the ability to determine who gets opportunities and who doesn’t, doesn’t believe that the law applies to him or the rules apply to him, and he does it in full view of NBC, Fremantle and Syco and no one cares about Simon Cowell exposing all of these employees to second hand smoke, that’s day one.”
“What message do you think that sends to anyone that has an issue with the very real racism and the lack of accountability?” she continued.
A rep for CNN posted this statement: “The allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue,” the statement read. “We took Ms. Union’s concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show. NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”