Gabrielle Union Speaks Out After 'America's Got Talent' Exit
By Liz Calvario
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Gabrielle Union is "humbled and thankful" for all the support she's received over the last couple of days.
The former America's Got Talent judge took to Twitter on Wednesday night to share a special message with her followers, days after it was announced that she, as well as Julianne Hough, would not be returning as judges next season.
"So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever," she tweeted. Union soon received even more supporting comments and likes.
So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever ❤
While Union didn't specifically mention AGT in her message, she did like a tweet from a reporter who mentioned that she was fired. "The first public word from @itsgabrielleu after she was fired last Friday by NBC."
Union's tweet comes hours after her husband, Dwyane Wade, stood up for her following her departure from the competition show. No exact reason was given why Union and Hough would not be returning, other than judges are often cycled out. However, Wade took to Twitter, claiming his wife got fired and wanted to know why.
"'Men lie, Women lie, numbers don’t' Over this past year I’ve been approached by many people saying that my wife @itsgabrielleu is the main reason they’ve started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show," he began. "So when i got the news that my wife was being fired -- my first question was obviously why!? I am still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture."
So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? Iam still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.
On Tuesday, Variety reported that Union expressed concern of a "toxic culture" at AGT. Among the alleged incidents that occurred during Union's time on the show was an act that she found racially insensitive during the audition rounds.
Additionally, sources who agreed to speak to Variety on the condition of anonymity claimed that Union received specific critical network notes on her hairstyles, which were allegedly deemed "too black" for the AGT audience, and that she received these notes numerous times. A network insider denied the volume of those notes to Variety, claiming that there were only notes about "hair continuity" for both her and Hough.
NBC and Fremantle, the production company behind AGT, responded to the reports and allegations on Tuesday, telling ET in a statement, "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," the statement continued. "NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously."
This was Hough and Union's first season as judges on the series, after stepping in for former judges Mel B and Heidi Klum. Judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel, as well as host Terry Crews, are expected to return next season.
ET has reached out to Union, Hough, Mandel, Cowell and Crews for comment.