Gabrielle Union is leaving no stone unturned and no blackface wearer unpunished in her fight against America’s Got Talent!
According to reports, the Bring it On alum filed a harassment complaint on Thursday with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the producers and network behind the talent competition series she worked on for a mere season. This time, she’s coming after everyone — including fellow judge Julianne Hough.
The complaint started out by recapping what we already know:
“Union, an African American woman, was a judge on America’s Got Talent (“AGT”), but, in what has become a widely publicized matter, was terminated from the Cowell-created show after just one season. Sadly, what led to Union’s termination was her refusal to remain silent in the face of a toxic culture at AGT that included racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges’ appearances, including race-related comments. Union raised numerous complaints while working on AGT.”
But this time, Gabrielle raised a new claim that NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her over speaking out against racism on set! The filing read:
“By virtue of Union refusing to silently endure the racist and misogynistic conduct on AGT, she was labeled as ‘intimidating’ and viewed as the problem, thus resulting in her termination… If NBC was so concerned about eradicating racism it would not continue remaining silent when confronted with racist behavior by its on-air talent, executives and other employees, but would instead implement swift disciplinary action.”
Ouch! It’s unclear what the nature of Telegdy’s accused threat was. But the docs were very clear in calling out NBC’s decision to hire Hough and other stars who have gotten heat for wearing blackface.
Calling the network “a snake pit of racial offenses,” the suit continued:
“Make no mistake, NBC is part of the problem. NBC’s current attitude towards racism can be deduced from its defense of those individuals who have appeared in blackface, including, but not limited to Julianne Hough, Jimmy Fallon, Fred Armisen and Ted Danson (whom NBC hired multiple times even after he wore minstrel show blackface and used the ‘n-word’ publicly).”
In the docs, Union said she believes it was a mistake for NBC to hire Hough — who infamously attended a 2013 Halloween party wearing full blackface dressed as an inmate from Orange Is The New Black — to be on the same panel with a black woman.
The complaint stated:
“ made a decision to hire Union as a judge on AGT while simultaneously hiring Hough, a two-time professional champion of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars who had recently gone through a widely publicized scandal for personally appearing in blackface. Hough apologized in response to the public uproar that she caused. Combining someone who so openly wore blackface (Hough) with someone who is black and regularly advocates on behalf of minorities (Union) should have at least alerted Telegdy that this could cause Union to experience some trepidation or concern about being unprotected from racially insensitive individuals while working as a judge on AGT. The suit is seeking unspecified damages and calls for changes to be made at NBCUniversal.”
Union said in the docs that she complained about Simon Cowell’s smoking on-set, a contestant performing with blackface hands, judge Howie Mandell having “mocked a Spanish-singing performer from Arizona by stating that, in sum and substance, America would not be able to ‘understand’ her singing,” and Jay Leno making a racist joke.
She also accused Cowell of having “orchestrated the rejection of 10-year-old black rapping sensation Dylan Gilmer a/k/a Young Dylan,” and claims that, in response to her complaint about this decision, Cowell told her the reason Young Dylan was being cut was because he wasn’t an act “America can get behind.”
In response to the new claim that Union was threatened over whistleblowing, a rep for NBCUniversal told Variety:
“he allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue. We took Ms. Union‘s concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show. NBCUniversal remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.”
While the network still hasn’t budged in its fight with the Being Mary Jane star, she has at least gotten support from someone in the AGT family: Terry Crews, who issued another public apology to her on Twitter.
As you might know, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star was accused of throwing Union under the proverbial bus after news first broke of her fight with AGT last year. When asked to comment, Crews, the host of the talent series, claimed he never experienced racism while working on the series.
But it appears the murder of George Floyd has caused the actor to acknowledge his own privilege as a man, which inspired him to “make further amends” with Union.
Terry wrote on Twitter Thursday:
“The murder of George Floyd has forced me to search my heart to find out what more I can do, as a human being, as a citizen, and more specifically as a Black man, to ensure our community can not only survive but thrive in this new world… Whites have always had privilege in a society that has systemic racism built in, a fact that has been proven over and over again with the senseless deaths of unarmed Black men and women— with no one being held accountable… But I also see that I am privileged as man, in a society that also has sexism built in. This privilege carries over into my community as a Black man in relationship with Black women… It is in this light I want to make further amends with Black women, and in particular @itsgabrielleu for not recognizing the privilege I have – especially in the workplace- and adding this fact to my earlier apology… If we are to move forward as a people we must do the work required to heal the relationships in our community first. To whom much is given, much is required. I have a huge responsibility —and I vow to honor it.”
Way to hold yourself accountable, Terry!
What do U think about this latest complaint?
Source: Read Full Article