Over the past several years, there have been controversies ad nauseum for the NBC Network, stemming from the allegations of sexual harassment involving female colleagues to outright abuse and unfair treatment. The network has tried to make amends by firing those directly responsible, such as Matt Lauer and others, but with Andy Lack, in the position of NBC News Chief, who has himself been accused of inappropriate behavior at some time, is this issue more systemic than simply a few bad people? Just recently, Gabrielle Union has become the victim of the toxic culture that is NBC.
Gabrielle Union Out as Judge for America's Got Talent
NBC just most recently announced that panel judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough will not be returning for the next season of AGT, after only a short stint. While this move is unprecedented, given the overall popularity of both individuals on the show, it begs the question of what really occurred behind the scenes, leading to their ultimate exodus. Fortunately, reports are surfacing with details on what is believed to be the reason for the change, and to no surprise, it points the gleaming toxic culture and leadership by NBC executives.
No Complaining around Here
According to reports in Variety, there were several spats between Union and the producers regarding an insensitivity to other colleagues on the show who were noticeably uncomfortable after being subjected to Korean jokes by guest judge, Jay Leno. Union felt that it was best to speak up, leading to the initial tensions. As reported in The Vulture, through several other similar incidents that prompted Union to approach producers with concern, Simon Cowell made it a point to tell her to stop complaining to NBC executives and come to him if there are any issues.
Sweeping It under the Rug
These comments by Cowell are emblematic of the overall problem with the NBC Network. Transgressions are made, good people are silenced and fired, while the untouchable NBC executives and their producers continue on with the reign and lack of accountability. There has been significant fall out in the last several years, but it starts at the top with Andy Lack, and that does not appear to be changing at any point in the near future. Fortunately, the latest victim of the network has taken it in grace.
On to the Next Thing!
Union is not short on talent and has already been working on other projects including L.A.'s Finest, something that is sure to make this uncomfortable situation go away a little sooner than later. It also doesn't hurt to have Dwayne Wade as a husband, providing support. As for NBC and its systemic culture of toxicity, harassment, and insensitivity, we'll have to wait to see how the cards fall.