Gabrielle Union said today that she and NBC had a long meeting Tuesday in the wake of Union and Julianne Hough’s abrupt exits as judges last month on the network’s hit summer series America’s Got Talent.
The news comes after Deadline exclusively revealed on December 2 that the two sides would meet amid the controversy over her departure from the show. The purpose of the meeting was to improve the culture and atmosphere on the competition series.
Supposedly caught by surprise by most of the claims surrounding the sudden exits of Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough, NBC has been determined to show that any investigation they initiate maintains strict and unbiased independence, sources close to the matter say. Sources said Tuesday’s meeting would be with NBC’s recently retained outside counsel. It was unclear whether anyone from the Comcast-owned network would be in the meeting outside if its own senior in-house legal team.
“We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday,” Union tweeted today. “I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
NBC has not responded to the news of the meeting today.
Multiple reports suggested Union was dismissed after complaining about a hostile work environment and racially charged incidents at AGT. Those complaints included about AGT‘s “toxic” workplace culture and speaking out about “problematic,” racially insensitive segments on the show.
Now under investigation by SAG-AFTRA, the network and AGT‘s producers (Fremantle and Simon Cowell’s Syco) previously had insisted that “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show.”
On Sunday, the companies put out another statement as the fallout has only intensified. “We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the statement read. “We 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.”
Union and Hough’s departures as judges for next summer’s edition were announced November 22.
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