TODAY initially confirmed the initial news of Union’s departure from the hit competition show, only mentioning that the actress will be busy in the coming year “with other projects.”
However, according to LoveBScott, Union — who was a judge for one season — was fired after speaking out against some “problematic” situations that were taking place behind-the-scenes of the popular talent competition series, including racism, sexism and more. Her co-judge Julianne Hough will also not be returning for the next season.
“[Union’s] contract was not renewed after being the No. 1 talent on the show, NBA and network TV,” a source from NBC told the site about her departure. “She set the record for her Golden Buzzer. They only replace the women and Blacks at Simon [Cowell’s] whim. She wouldn’t walk away from $12 million because she’s ‘busy.’ Based on weekly interactions on social media, by the time AGT finale aired, Gabrielle was the No. 1 talent on network TV for 2019. Why not pick up someone’s option in extreme success?”
The insider added that “Julianne and Gabrielle were both way higher ranked/engaged than Howie [Mandel],” who is still employed at the show.
“The idea [that] the network wants to ‘switch things up’ only applies to women and Black folks,” the source claimed. “Nick Cannon wasn’t crazy. He walked away from eight-figures over how [AGT] operates.”
As previously reported, Nick Cannon claimed in 2017 that he was “threatened with termination by executives” after calling out NBC’s racial bias during a stand-up special. The comedian and entrepreneur eventually decided to quit his hosting duties on the show in February 2017.
Gabrielle Union has not publicly commented on her departure.
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