A lawsuit filed against NBC Universal may prove actress Gabrielle Union is holding nothing back as she pushes for a more inclusive and racially just workplace for those in Hollywood.
Entertainment reporter Yashar Ali detailed the failed negotiations between Union and the media company in a series of tweets. News of the lawsuit seemingly shows things between Union and her once employer have gone from bad to worse.
At the crux of her complaints is an allegation that NBC Universal failed to appropriately address her concerns of racially insensitive jokes heard on the set of “America’s Got Talent,” and other issues pointing at a less than inclusive workplace.
“I will always want to be a part of creating a safer space for everyone who has a dream, who comes to this crazy town and just wants a chance,” said Union to Variety just a week before news of the latest complaint began to circulate.
The “Being Mary Jane” actress became outspoken of issues she experienced during her time as a judge on “AGT.”
Union said joining “AGT” was a means of being a part of a project that allowed her to be herself, and allowed others viewed as ‘different’ and ‘other’ to be seen and heard.
“I signed up for the experience of being a part of a show that hails itself as the biggest stage in the world. Super diverse, and one about giving people an opportunity to shine where they otherwise probably wouldn’t,” said Union to Variety in last month.
Instead of having the opportunity of a lifetime, Union has alleged that she endured a co-host’s habit of indoor smoking, was provided no support when advocating for Black acts on the show, and was made to feel her concerns of a racially insensitive workplace were futile.
After serving as a judge for one season, and bringing several complaints to NBC executives, her contract was not renewed, a decision Union felt had more to do with her being a whistleblower on workplace issues than her job performance.
Though Union has yet to publicly address the new filing, her attorney Bryan Freedman provided reporter Ali with a statement.
“When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of America’s Got Talent, NBC did not ‘stand’ with her in ‘outrage’ at acts of racism. Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved. Rather, NBC stood against her and directed its ‘outrage’ at Ms. Union for whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experiences while working for NBC on America’s Got Talent,” wrote Freedman.
Producers of AGT are also listed in the complaint. Issues with head honcho Simon Cowell are said to be dealt with in a separate suit, according to Ali.
As the buzz surrounding the filing spread, Union shared a simple message with her followers on social: an Instagram story that read: “Change gon’ come. Don’t fight it. Be accountable. Make amends. Commit to doing things differently.”
Not one to let his wife become social fodder, former NBA player Dwyane Wade fired off a few thoughts of his own surrounding the entire situation.