NBC and “America’s Got Talent” producer Fremantle have met with Sofia Vergara to discuss a variety of projects, including her filling one of the two recently vacated judge spots on “AGT,” two individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
One person told TheWrap that NBC is “actively talking to a number of people” about the open judge seats, which belonged to the recently exited Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough.
Representatives for Vergara, NBC and Fremantle did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
News first broke on Nov. 22 that Union and Hough would not return for the show’s 15th season next year. It was later reported that Union’s contract was not renewed, with multiple reports describing behind-the-scenes clashes between Union and the show’s producers over what was described as a “toxic” workplace culture.
Many rushed to Union’s defense after reports about her complaints began to surface, including former “AGT” judges Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne. Both spoke out against the “boys’ club” environment on the show, which they said was facilitated by executive producer-turned-judge Simon Cowell. And Time’s Up President and CEO Tina Tchen publicly called on NBCUniversal to “change its culture so discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are no longer tolerated at the company.”
On Dec. 1, NBC and “America’s Got Talent” producers Fremantle and Syco said in a statement that they planned to meet with Union to hear her “concerns” about the “workplace culture” on the show following her dismissal and subsequent criticism of the environment she left behind.
On Dec. 4, Union tweeted about the sitdown, which she described as a “productive” five-hour meeting about her “desire and hope for real change.”
“We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday,” the former “America’s Got Talent” judge wrote. “I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
“The initial conversation was candid and productive,” NBC said in its own statement about the meeting. “While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution.”
Hough — who was also fired after this season — issued her own statement following her ousting: “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.”
Later, in an interview with People, Hough added, “I just believe and value, at the highest regard, that everybody has a voice and should be heard, first and foremost. And then I believe that the paradigm of the workplace and how you do business and work with people now, it’s shifting, and I think that the people that really want to see change happen are going to authentically and positively and integrally do that. And so that’s all I really have to say about that.”
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