Recently, it was revealed that Gabby and fellow judge Julianne Hough were axed from the upcoming season 15.
Variety broke the story that there was more to the story than a simple casting change. The outlet reported the firings came after Gabby and Julianne complained to HR about a “toxic” work environment.
Gabrielle’s husband Dwyane Wade fired off a series of Tweets defending his wife and calling into question her firing.
He wrote, “Men lie, Women lie, numbers don’t” Over this past year I’ve been approached 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.
Wade continued, “So when i got the news that my wife was being fired—my first question was obviously why!? Iam still waiting on a good answer to that question. But if anyone knows @itsgabrielleu or have heard of her you know she’s an advocate for our community and culture.”
“As proud as i were of her being selected as a judge on #AGT— Iam even more proud of her standing up for what she stands for and that’s US,” he added.
He ended, “So 🥂 to you @itsgabrielleu on not losing sight of the lessons we’ve talked about teaching our daughter and for kicking ass while you were on that platform. Number 1 judge on one of the biggest shows in the world‼️.”
In Variety’s article, one of the incidents behind the scenes involved Jay Leno. The judges were shooting a segment when Leno made a joke about a painting of Simon Cowell with his dogs. He joked the photo looked like something you would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.”
Many on set were reportedly upset by the joke. Gabrielle told producers to tell human resources about the joke. The joke was cut from the broadcast.
NBC and Freemantle released a joint statement defending themselves. It read, “‘America’s Got Talent’ has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”
The outlet reported Gabrielle and Julianne were subjected to excessive notes on their physical appearance. They were constantly criticized on hair, makeup and wardrobe decisions. Gabrielle allegedly dealt with execs calling her different hairstyles “too black.”
Julianne has denied the reports saying she loved working on the show. She said, “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.”