Gabrielle Union “Too Black” Sues NBC

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Gabrielle Union, a 47-year-old Black actress, alleged that she experienced racial discrimination while working on the popular television show “America’s Got Talent” (AGT). She was fired after one season as a judge in December 2019.

NBC conducted an investigation into her claims of racism in May 2020 — which they deemed unfounded. In June 2020, she filed a complaint against Universal Television, Fremantle Productions, Syco Entertainment, and Simon Cowell.

While on AGT she worked alongside judge Julianne Hough who was known for wearing blackface and being insensitive to the historical struggles of Black people. Union, on the other hand, is purportedly known for advocating for minorities. Pairing Union with someone who has overtly shown a disregard for black culture was bound to create a hostile work environment.

She further stated that while working on AGT, former television host, Jay Leno made racist jokes. When she complained about them she was cut from the show.

NBC has denied that her departure from the show was based upon her complaints of racial discrimination. According to the show, the ratings were decreasing and there was a lack of chemistry between the judges which aided them in their decision to let Union go.

She even reported that the network told her that her hairstyles were “too Black.” Black hair has seemed to always mystify corporate America. The texture of black hair and styles worn by black people have never been considered mainstream or truly accepted by their non-Black counterparts.  Mainly, because they do not understand the wide range of hair textures and hairstyles that Black people can create. She has even launched a Black hair care product line.

Union garnered the support of her husband, former NBA star, Dwayne Wade and other celebrities. Racial tensions are high and Black people are not being silent about the systemic racism endured over the years.

For far too long,  facial features, hairstyles, clothing choices, and behavior, amongst other characteristics, have been negatively highlighted as “too Black.”

Union is courageously taking on a major television network regarding its working conditions involving women and minorities. This is uncommon but it shows that times are changing. Union, who is known for playing assertive and forward characters on the big screen, is now showing how strong she is in real life.

Written by Sheree Bynum
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


BLAST: Gabrielle Union Calls Out Julianne Hough’s 2013 Blackface In Battle Over “America’s Got Talent’ Firing; Ryan Naumann

Featured Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Television’s Flickr Photostream- Creative Commons License


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