Recently, Gabrielle Union spoke to a reporter about her experience as America’s Got Talent judge. Soon after she left the NBC show, she filed a case against NBC with California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. She explained that the NBC show is a “Snake pit of racial offenses”.
Gabrielle Union also mentioned the series of racial notes being made on her appearance on several counts on the set of the show. She had also received comment regarding her hair, which the producers of the show allegedly called ‘too wild’. Gabrielle Union says this is a too wild expression and a code for too black.
She told the magazine – “I should be able to exist however the f*** I want to exist, because if you’re hiring Gabrielle Union for my talent, then my talent is going to come out of my body in every way, shape, and incarnation that I can imagine. You’re getting more bang for your buck the more you allow me to exist as I see fit.”
She also mentioned the unhealthy working environment of the show, which included Simon Cowell smoking indoors despite Gabrielle having serious smoke allergy and Jay Leno passing racist comments on Koreans for eating dogs. When asked by the magazine, whether she believes Simon Cowell to be a racist, she said- “I am one who calls people who continuously exhibit racist behaviour racist,” adding, “but for the super sensitive, I will say he has exhibited wildly problematic behaviour.“
Gabrielle Union also said that she wasn’t surprised by the lack of support shown by black NBC stats, which included the host of the show Terry Crews and Al Roker too. “These racist institutions and systems have done an amazing job at keeping us very fearful of speaking up, asking for equality, and asking for accountability, because they have shown us time and time again that we are disposable,” she said. “They will discredit and malign you, and you will never work again.…Being blackballed in this industry is very real.”
She also responded to the allegation that the sole purpose of her filing the case against NBC is a retribution for being fired from America’s Got Talent as a judge. She said- “That very sentiment is how all of this has been allowed to go on for centuries; that kind of gaslighting, I categorically reject. You are not going to gaslight me into minimizing my trauma, which is exactly what allows this to continue on for the next person.“
Gabrielle said that her therapy and her age allowed her to speak against the racist discrimination going on. She said- “I have emptied my basket of f***s,” she said. “I cannot center fear in my life. I can’t center functioning from a fear of scarcity. They say silence is violence, and I refuse to be complicit in my silence. I have to be fully present in my body and fully free.“