America's Got Talent Investigation Dismisses Gabrielle Union's Claims

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America’s Got Talent producers and NBC announced that an outside investigation into Gabrielle Union’s dismissal from the series has been completed, with most of the former judge’s accusations dismissed. 

Union previously alleged that the show and its producers created a racist and generally “toxic” culture.

“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,” the statement read.

Gabrielle Union Wears Blue

“The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract.”

But the statement from NBC and show producers Fremantle and Syco also revealed there were some areas in which the show and its production could improve. 

Below is the full statement.

We have a shared passion to make “America’s Got Talent” a positive, inclusive and diverse show that is open to all individuals from any country or background.

Gabrielle Union Attends America's Got Talent Event

We are proud and grateful that our contestants and audiences support our ongoing mission, which is represented in the incredible people who participate in the show each year.

We have heard from contestants and talent alike that their experience on “AGT” has had a positive impact on their lives. When we heard Ms. Union had concerns about her time on the show, we took them extremely seriously.

NBC, Fremantle and Syco immediately engaged an outside investigator who conducted more than 30 interviews to review the issues raised by Ms. Union.

While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved.

Gabrielle Union Promotes AGT

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.

The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract.

NBC, Fremantle and Syco share Ms. Union’s dedication to diversity and inclusion in the industry. We continue to remain committed to having an inclusive environment for everyone associated with the show, and to upholding “AGT” as one of the most diverse programs on television.

Union opened up about the decision in a Variety cover story Wednesday, standing by her complaints about working on the NBC juggernaut. 

Gabrielle Union Attends AGT Red Carpet Event

“There are some people who want the wheels of change to come to a grinding halt because they feel that their privilege is being challenged.”

Union joined the AGT cast last season, and her option was not picked up for the 2020 season amid claims that she was "difficult" to work with. 

A string of incidents from the set of the series were subsequently reported, including Union complaining about Simon Cowell smoking indoors, a remark from guest judge Jay Leno that Union deemed to be racist, as well as the misgendering of contestants. 

The investigation was set to be completed in January. 

AGT returned to NBC earlier this week. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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