Gabrielle Union’s controversial departure from her judging role on America’s Got Talent is to be investigated by officials from the SAG-AFTRA entertainers’ union.
The Bring It On star was recently dropped from the line-up of Simon Cowell’s talent series after one season, amid reports suggesting she was axed for making multiple complaints to TV bosses about the “toxic” workplace culture.
In a statement sent to Variety on Sunday, a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA, America’s main union representing performers and actors, said they would investigate any alleged mistreatment of Union.
“We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously,” the representative said. “We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.”
They added: “While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now.”
Reports have claimed Union was dismissed after objecting to alleged comments about her hairstyles being “too black” and racist jokes, as well as her anger over attempts to ditch a 10-year-old African-American contestant she believed was set for stardom.
Earlier on Sunday, America’s Got Talent producers and NBC chiefs issued a statement saying that they 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.”
However, it appears Union is not impressed with the statement after reposting a note about what a “solid apology” should include by writer Joelle Monique – indicating NBC chiefs’ response had fallen short.