Gabrielle Union’s Exit From “America’s Got Talent” Comes After She Called Out Jay Leno’s Offensive Joke About Asians, She Was Also Told Her Hair Was ‘Too Black’

Gabrielle Union, Jay Leno 

Gabrielle Union’s Exit From “America’s Got Talent” Comes After She Called Out Jay Leno’s Offensive Joke About Asians, She Was Also Told Her Hair Was ‘Too Black’

More information is coming out about Gabrielle Union’s exit from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Gabrielle Union was a judge on the show for one season. And now, a toxic environment, including an alleged controversial moment between Gabrielle Union and Jay Leno is said to be the reason why, according to new reports.

Reportedly, Jay Leno made an appearance on the show that was taped in April. While there, he reportedly made an insulting joke and said that pets in a painting with judge and executive producer Simon Cowell looked like something that would be

“on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”

Insiders said Union took issue with the statement and pushed producers to tell NBC’s Human Resources wing, but the incident didn’t go far after that. The statement was then pulled from the episode when it aired on Aug. 6.

Other reports say during her time as a judge on the competition series, Union 

“was subjected to a very specific critique — that her rotating hair styles were ‘too black’ for the audience of AGT, a note she received over half a dozen times, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the exchanges who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

Sources at NBC also told Love B. Scott, 

“[Gabrielle’s] contract was not renewed after being the #1 talent on the show, NBC and network TV. She set the record for her Golden Buzzer. They only replace the women and blacks at Simon’s whim. She wouldn’t walk away from $12 million because she’s ‘busy.’ Based on weekly interactions on social media, by the time AGT finale aired Gabrielle was the #1 talent on network TV for 2019. Why not pick up someone’s option in extreme success?”

They also said Julianne Hough, whose contract was also not renewed, was another fan favorite.

“Social media engagement is the new measuring stick for talent and Simon isn’t on social media. Juliane and Gabrielle were both way higher ranked/engaged than Howie [Mandel]. The idea the network wants to ‘switch things up’ only applies to women and Black folks.”

They referenced Nick Cannon’s 2017 exit after he had issues with the producers at the network. See his post here.

Nick Cannon

The sources added,

“Let’s just say they didn’t start the racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia etc. in season 14. They were quite comfortable with it all by the time Gabrielle got there. Remember Nick said ‘NBC stands for N*gga Be Careful.’”

“Nick Cannon wasn’t crazy. He walked away from 8-figures over how [AGT] operates.”

The show’s production company and NBC released a joint statement amid the reports.

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.”

 Judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel, along with new host Terry Crews will be returning for the upcoming 15th season.

What are your thoughts on the new reports on Gabrielle Union’s exit? Tell us in the comments.

Authored by: Char Patterson