SAG-AFTRA Expanding Fremantle Media Investigation After Gabrielle Union and Orlando Jones' Exits

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Gabrielle Union's America's Got Talent departure is being further investigated.

On Friday, SAG-AFTRA released a statement to ET explaining why they've decided to expand their investigation into Freemantle Media following Union's exit from NBC's AGT and Orlando Jones claiming he was fired from Starz's American Gods. Both NBC and Starz are part of the Freemantle family.

"After initial meetings with Gabrielle Union and her representatives about her experiences on America’s Got Talent, and after learning more about Orlando Jones' experience on American Gods, SAG-AFTRA is expanding its investigation of Fremantle Media," the statement reads. "Our enforcement actions are handled confidentially to protect the members involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the affected members request that we do so."

In a statement earlier this month, a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA first shared with ET that they were launching an investigation in lieu of Union's AGT departure. 

"We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union's representatives when these reports came to light, It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member."

"For certain matters, our investigation and enforcement needs to happen independently and we are prepared to handle this issue accordingly, as warranted," the statement continued. "Our enforcement action is usually handled confidentially to protect the member involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the member requests that we do so."

SAG-AFTRA added that, "while we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now."

The union's initial statement came just one day after NBC and AGT's production companies, Fremantle and Syco, told ET in a statement that they "remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture."

"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," the statement added.

Union responded to the statement by sharing a list of what makes "a solid apology" on Twitter.

The response follows news that Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were not set to return to the next season of the talent competition show. A Variety report claimed that Union expressed concern about the show's "toxic culture" to NBC's Human Resources department.

NBC and Fremantle initially responded to the report with a statement praising AGT's long history of "inclusivity and diversity," and explained Union and Hough's exits as routine cycling out as judges.

However, Union's husband, Dwyane Wade, claimed on Twitter that she was fired from the show. 

According to Variety, 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 claimed to the outlet 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.

Amid the controversy, celebs including Ellen Pompeo, Sophia Bush, Ariana Grande, and Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke out in support of Union.


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