By Rachel Sandler
Actress Gabrielle Union filed a discrimination complaint Thursday claiming she was threatened by an NBC executive and fired from America’s Got Talent because she attempted to report issues of racism and sexism on set.
Union’s experiences as a judge on America’s Got Talent in December were reported publicly by Variety and other media outlets in 2019: Sources said Union was told some of the hairstyles she wore for tapings were “too black,” and was labeled “difficult” by producer Simon Cowell because she asked him not to smoke indoors and raised concerns about a culture of racism on set.
In the complaint filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Union alleges she was threatened through her agent in February by NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy in an attempt to prevent her from filing a lawsuit against the company.
The complaint, which is usually seen as a precursor to a lawsuit, was filed against FremantleMedia, Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and NBCUniversal.
NBCUniversal hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation after the fallout from Union’s firing last year, which found Union’s claims to be unfounded, NBCUniversal said last week.
In a statement, NBC categorically denied that anyone threatened Union and emphasized the results of the outside investigation found “an overarching culture of diversity on the show.” The company has previously said Union’s contract wasn’t renewed because they wanted to “refresh” the judging panel.
Originally posted on Forbes