Gabrielle Union Says She Was Told Her Hair Was ‘Too Wild’ On ‘AGT’, Alleges Simon Cowell Shows ‘Wildly Problematic Behavior’
It’s been nearly a year since Gabrielle Union was fired from her position as a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” But the actress isn’t going away quietly. In a new interview with Marie Claire, she dished on the experience she suffered while on the competition series for one season.
She said that producers gave her “excessive notes” about how she looked, including allegedly telling her that her hairstyles were “too wild.” She said she translated this to mean “too black.”
Gabrielle Union added:
“That is the beauty of being a Black woman. I should be able to exist however the f*** I want to exist, because if you’re hiring Gabrielle Union for my talent, then my talent is going to come out of my body in every way, shape, and incarnation that I can imagine. You’re getting more bang for your buck the more you allow me to exist as I see fit.”
She also addressed working with Simon Cowell, who serves as a judge and executive producer of the show. When asked if she thinks he’s a racist she said:
“I am one who calls people who continuously exhibit racist behavior racist…but for the super-sensitive, I will say he has exhibited wildly problematic behavior.”
Her comments come just days after the network announced that it had reached an agreement with Gabrielle Union, whose claims sparked an investigation into the show’s workplace environment. The agreement reportedly included payment for Gabrielle Union. NBC said in a statement:
“NBC Entertainment appreciates the important concerns raised by Gabrielle Union and remains committed to ensuring an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”
She added that she felt a way that other familiar black faces on NBC like Al Roker and Terry Crews, who’s the current host of “America’s Got Talent” didn’t back her up during her experience and the fallout that came after. She added:
“These racist institutions and systems have done an amazing job at keeping us very fearful of speaking up, asking for equality, and asking for accountability because they have shown us time and time again that we are disposable. They will discredit and malign you, and you will never work again.…Being blackballed in this industry is very real.”
“How much do you need to have in the bank before you feel comfortable speaking truth to power? What’s the magic number?”
Her husband Dwyane Wade, who publicly supported her on Twitter after the firing, also said:
“She loses a lot of sleep at times; she stresses out because she wants to do right by everyone. She knows that she’s not going to fall. I’m going to catch her. I’m right there.”
What are your thoughts on what Gabrielle Union had to say? Comment and let us know.