Former America’s Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union recently appeared on The Daily Show to talk with host Trevor Noah about fighting racism. The actress shared some details about her experience on the show.
Gabrielle described the current times as “one big anxiety attack,” between the COVID-19 pandemic and police brutality against black people. She called it a “non-stop onslaught of trauma.”
Gabrielle Union Talks About NBC’s Racism Investigation
Gabrielle Union was fired from AGT after speaking out about instances of racism and a “toxic” culture on set. An outside investigation was conducted, which concluded that there was an “overall culture of diversity” on the show, and denied several of Gabrielle’s claims.
Gabrielle told Trevor that she expected an “independent investigation” into her claims to be actually independent, but shared, “When NBC and Fremantle and Syco pay for that investigation, they control it.”
She added that the investigation “turned over what they believe to be inflammatory things” about her to NBC executive Paul Telegdy. She repeated her previous assertion that he used this to threaten her agent in order to stop her from speaking out.
The actress recently filed a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation complaint in which she accuses Paul Telegdy of trying to “silence and intimidate her.” She reportedly has phone records which prove this.
Gabrielle Calls Out Simon Cowell For Smoking On Set
Gabrielle said she thought AGT would be “the easiest show” to work on. However, on her first day, Simon Cowell was smoking cigarettes indoors. “I’ve worked a long time, I’ve worked with all kinds of people,” she said. “I’ve never experienced that.”
She pointed out that when the boss of a show “doesn’t believe that the law applies to him or the rules apply to him,” it sends a message to people who might take issue with problems such as racism on set.
“We have to hold the people at the very top accountable,” Gabrielle told Trevor. She said the entertainment industry has to stop trying to “work around the bad apples” instead of having consequences.
She said representation has to change “across the board” and emphasized that sometimes leaders have to “get out of the way and make room for someone else” rather than centering themselves.