Gabrielle Union Files Discrimination Complaint Against 'America's Got Talent' Producers

Chelsey Sanchez
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

  • Gabrielle Union filed a harassment complaint in California today against the producers of America's Got Talent.

  • She also said that NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy allegedly threatened her for talking about racism on set of the reality competition show.

  • The complaint arrives months after Union left the show.

Gabrielle Union took legal action against the producers of America's Got Talent, as well as NBC Universal, Fremantle Media North America, and Syco Entertainment, alleging in a discrimination complaint filed in California today that racist behavior regularly took place on set. She also claimed that NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy threatened her with retaliation if she spoke out.

Among other issues, Union's complaint lists "racist jokes, racist performances, sexual orientation discrimination, and excessive focus on female judges' appearances."

According to documents obtained by New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali, Union's attorney, Bryan Freedman, said in a statement, "When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of America's Got Talent, NBC did not 'stand' with her in 'outrage at acts of racism.'" The statement continued, "What was truly an 'outrage' was the fact that Paul Telegdy, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, actually threatened Ms. Union in an attempt to silence her from telling the truth about racist actions that took place on the show."

Union will also be filing a separate suit against Simon Cowell, according to Ali.

The complaint comes months after she was fired from the reality competition show, following her criticism with America's Got Talent's on-set culture. People previously reported that Union flagged issues of racial insensitivity and other negative experiences in an hours-long discussion with NBC heads and the show's production company.

"This is exhausting, anxiety inducing, and at times frightening but being able to speak truth to power feeds my soul," Union tweeted last December.

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