The “Deliver Us from Eva” actress spoke with Hill on the host’s “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast,” in an interview that was released on Monday, July 27.
During the more than hour-long chat, Union spoke about the discrimination complaint that she filed against “America’s Got Talent” earlier this year, where she was a judge and Crews is a host. Union was brought on for the show’s fourteenth season but wasn’t invited back to return.
Reportedly, she wasn’t asked to come back after telling human resources that she was either on the receiving end of racism or saw others on set experience it. Those claims were made public last November in a Variety article in which unnamed sources described Union’s allegations to the magazine.
Union herself did not directly address the Variety piece’s claims in the weeks following the article’s appearance. So when Crews was asked about Union when he stopped by “The 3rd Hour of Today” this past January he said that he saw no racial discrimination on the “AGT” set and explained further how he felt about her claims.
“When you look at what the allegations were about, it was given by an unnamed source,” Crews said in the Jan. 23 interview. “My thing is, it’s funny because I believe you should listen to women, you should always believe women, so I asked my wife what I should do.”
“She was like, ‘First of all, if it’s coming from an unnamed source, because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly … If she hasn’t made a statement, why would you?’” Crews explained.
Union told Hill during last week’s interview that after her claims against “AGT” became known, she was reminded by her detractors that there were other Black people on set.
“I was like, ‘No, I was on there with Terry Crews,’” she said. “Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board? I think Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”
Union was referring to a series of controversial tweets that Crews sent, including one in June when he wrote, “Defeating white supremacy without white people creates Black supremacy.” Later that month, another message came from him that said, “We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”
The “Bring It On” star also talked about Crews not defending her after her claims against “AGT” were made public, even though she stuck up for him in 2017 when he accused a former Hollywood agent of groping him at a party. Crews’ claims of being sexually assaulted came at the height of the #MeToo movement.
The actor eventually apologized to Union on Twitter for “not taking into consideration” what she went through on “AGT.” But his words didn’t seem to mend their relationship.
“Not to say if I offer you solidarity I expect you to be the getaway driver during a bank robbery, that’s what he made it sound like in one of those series of tweets,” Union told Hill, referring to Crews. “If you saw something, say something. If you didn’t have my experience … you also have an option to say, ‘I believe Gab, I just had a different experience.’ End of story.”
“You don’t have to do a press tour where your sole objective is to discredit and malign me,” she added. “You know, I’ve been in Hollywood a very long time. There’s very little that surprises me, but that was very disappointing for sure.”
Union then said that despite Crews’ seeming disinterest in supporting her, he’ll still benefit from what she’s doing to make things better for Black people at NBC.
“At the end of the day, the work that I am doing to make sure that NBC is a more fair and equitable place of employment will benefit you as well,” Union explained. “So it’s OK to eat your cereal and let me do my thing and get out of the way. If you’re not going to help, then get out of the way, if you don’t feel financially comfortable or spiritually comfortable or you flat out disagree.”
“But at the end of the day, he will benefit from a safer, more equitable workplace from what I stuck my neck out to do and got fired for, instead of actively working against progress,” she added.
It was revealed in June that Union has filed a formal discrimination complaint against “AGT” creator Simon Cowell, NBC Universal, Fremantle Productions, and Cowell’s company Syco Entertainment.