Celebrities have come out in support of Gabrielle Union after she was allegedly fired by NBC from "America's Got Talent" due to her claims of the show's toxic culture.
Gabrielle Union claims she was let go from her judging gig at "America's Got Talent" because she raised voice against a pernicious work environment for the cast and crew. The "Bring It On" star had joined the show in season 14 alongside the show's creator Simon Cowell and judges Howie Mandell and Julianne Hough. The latter has also been dropped from the show while Howie Mandell, Tyra Banks and host Terry Crews will remain.
Union and Hough will not return for the second season of "America's Got Talent: The Champions," which premieres January 6. For the series, judge Simon Cowell will be joined by Alesha Dixon, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.
Variety had published a report on Tuesday that claimed Union was fired after she requested the show's producers to escalate to human resources an incident involving a racist joke made by guest star Jay Leno, and also revealed that producers repeatedly told Union that her hairstyles on the show were "too black."
On Wednesday night, Union posted a tweet to express gratitude to those who have supported her. "So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever," the 47-year-old said.
Her tweet came hours after her husband, NBA star Dwayne Wade, suggested that Union was fired for her advocacy of minorities' community and culture. "As proud as i were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— Iam even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that's US," he wrote in a thread on Twitter, adding that Union was "number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world," he tweeted.
Women's advocacy group Time's Up and several other celebrities have also come out in support of Union. Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette requested intervention from actors' union SAG-AFTRA and said that Union "should not be penalised for trying to have a workplace that honors the rule of law in the workplace." Union has herself been a SAG-AFTRA member for decades.
ABC's "Grey Anatomy" star Ellen Pompeo also spoke against the "toxic" work-culture at NBC and said she supports Union's courageous "commitment to speaking up to injustice."
"It's unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it...has not changed their practices or culture. Workplace cultures will continue to be toxic until there is unity and solidarity among all women," Pompeo asserted.