Final week, information broke that Union, 47, and Julianne Hough, 31, would exit “AGT,” with stories saying the departure was a results of an alleged “poisonous” office on the present. (Hough has denied the report.)
According to Variety, Union allegedly was topic to numerous racially motivated criticisms. Union was additionally reportedly not a fan of a racially insensitive joke made by Leno on set.
On Sunday, TMZ spoke with Leno, 69, about working with Union on the present, and whereas he refused to debate the joke the actress cited, he shared his ideas on Union herself.
“I like Gabrielle Union, she’s an important woman. I actually loved working together with her, she’s actually good,” mentioned Leno.
When requested whether or not Union was handled pretty, Leno merely mentioned: “I don’t know, however I feel she’s an important woman.”
Selection reported that in the course of the filming of an interstitial phase, Leno joked a few portray that featured Simon Cowell surrounded by canines. Leno joked that the canines regarded like one thing one may discover “on the menu at a Korean restaurant” — a lot to the chagrin of “the only a few Asian staffers” on the present. The remark was later edited out of the Aug. 6 episode.
Union allegedly urged producers to report the incident to NBC’s human assets division — however her pleas fell on deaf ears.
The report additionally alleged that Union was topic to numerous racially motivated criticisms, together with over her many coiffure adjustments, which had been perceived as “too black” for the core “AGT” demographic. Union reportedly obtained that critique greater than half a dozen instances.
NBC and the producers of “AGT” released a joint statement Sunday, explaining that they’re nonetheless working their manner via the state of affairs.
“We stay dedicated to making sure a respectful office for all workers and take very critically any questions on office tradition,” the assertion mentioned. “We’re working with Ms. Union via her representatives to listen to extra about her considerations, following which we are going to take no matter subsequent steps could also be applicable.”