NBC’s choice to terminate Gabrielle Union’s contract with America’s Got Talent has evolved into yet another illuminating look at the alleged culture of the network after reports of discriminatory behavior surfaced just before the holiday. Things have quickly escalated for the peacock: Per Deadline, a list of disturbing claims, which range from the talent competition attempting to sweep a racist joke from Jay Leno under the rug to the network deeming Union’s ever-changing hair styles “too Black,” has prompted an investigation from one of Hollywood’s biggest labor unions, SAG-AFTRA. The news comes shortly after NBC’s and AGT’s long-awaited statement on the matter, where they boasted of “a long history of inclusivity and diversity.” Below is SAG-AFTRA’s full statement:
“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.
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.
While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now.”
Deadline reports that while the probe is in the early stages, the union is aware of how high-profile the issue is and intends to conduct a thorough investigation. In the interim, NBC and AGT’s producers Fremantle and Simon Cowell’s company Syco suddenly feel the urge to work with Union’s representatives “to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.” Better exceedingly late (and only after a highly publicized shitstorm) than never, right?