Gabrielle Union Breaks Her Silence Amid America's Got Talent Controversy
Gabrielle Union is speaking out for the first time since news broke about her controversial firing on America's Got Talent.
Earlier this week, Union — who served as a judge on the talent competition show for only one season — was reportedly let go after bringing to light the "toxic" and "racist" workplace culture at AGT, according to sources at Variety.
The publication also reported that the actress received harsh criticism more than half a dozen times about her hairstyles, which were perceived to be "too black" for the show's audience. Amid the controversy, Union broke her silence on social media on Wednesday night.
"So many tears, so much gratitude," she wrote to her fans on Twitter. "THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone... you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever."
Union's fans of various ethnic backgrounds praised the star for standing up against the alleged racial insensitivity on the show. "It really meant a lot to have a black woman stand up for us, and it's truly made me reexamine if I'm doing enough in standing up for racial injustice even when it doesn't involve me personally," wrote one user.
Meanwhile, another commented: "As a Korean, thank you for helping us not feel so lost, adrift, alone when it comes to racial insensitivity."
While Union's tweet is cryptic, it's her husband, Dwayne Wade, who addressed her firing in more detail.
"'Men lie, Women lie, numbers don't' over this past year I've been approaching by many people saying that my wife @itsgabrielleu is the main reason they've started watching #AGT or that they love her insight and sincerity on the show," he wrote.
"So when I got the news that my wife was being fired — my first question was obviously why!? I am still waiting on a good answer to that question," he continued. "But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she's an advocate for our community and culture."
Wade then alluded that some of the allegations in Variety's report were true by writing, "As proud as i were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— I am even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that's US."
Union's fellow AGT judge Julianne Hough is also not returning to the series, but she denies her departure is because of the workplace environment. In a statement to Variety, Hough told the outlet: "I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent, I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC. I’m looking forward to what the future holds."