Gabrielle Union was let go as a judge on America’s Got Talent after she made one too many complaints to bosses about the show’s “toxic culture” on the set, according to WENN.com.
The outspoken 47-year-old actress served as a judge on the competition reality TV show this year, alongside Julianne Hough, who was also let go from the show in November.
According to Variety.com, numerous incidents left Union uncomfortable – such as when guest judge Jay Leno allegedly made a racially insensitive joke while visiting the show’s offices.
“Leno made a crack about a painting on display in a hallway of the show’s Simon Cowell, surrounded by his dogs. Leno joked that the pets looked like something one would find ‘on the menu at a Korean restaurant’,” according to four people who were present at the time of Leno’s wisecrack.
According to Variety, Union asked producers to report the incident to Human Resources but, following a conversation with a NBC executive, the matter was dropped.
Other incidents Union complained about included one involving a white male contestant, who wowed the audience with his quick changes between costumes. At one point, he donned dark make-up to look like the American singer Beyonce – which angered Union and caused her to object to the contestant being in the show.
The contestant was apparently still allowed to audition, but the audition was cut before the show aired.
The Variety report also claims that both Union and Hough (pictured) were consistently given “excessive notes on their physical experience,” which had a big impact on their morale – particularly for Hough.
However, Hough, who wants to keep working in Hollywood, denied the claims in a statement to E! News, telling the outlet: “I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC.”
Meanwhile, NBC hit back at the report in their own statement, which read: “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show.
“The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”
Union has yet to publicly respond to the allegations.