Stumbling from bad to worse, NBC now has a potential labor landmine under its feet with Gabrielle Union’s forced-march exit from America’s Got Talent.
Just hours after the Comcast-owned network finally put out a statement that seemed to recognize the gravity of the situation and the allegations of racial and other discriminatory practices at work on the Simon Cowell-created competition series, SAG-AFTRA has turned a new spotlight on the matter.
“We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously,” the Gabrielle Carteris-led union said in a statement Sunday (read the full statement below) about the L.A. Finest’s star and AGT, which announced November 22 Union was leaving after just one season. “While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now,” SAG-AFTRA’s statement added of the Union probe.
We understand the investigation is in an early stage, but a well-informed source says that the union recognizes what a high-profile and probably high-wire act this is. Representing more than 160,000 actors and other performers globally, SAG-AFTRA intends to be thorough and timely simultaneously because of the claims being made and the manner in which they were handled by the show, its producers and subsequently the network.
Tonight, NBC had “nothing further” to say “beyond the statement we sent this morning” when contacted by Deadline about SAG-AFTRA’s confirmation of a probe into what really went down at AGT this past season. As support for the fired Union became deeper and louder the past week, NBC and producers Fremantle and Cowell’s Syco said earlier today that they were “working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”
Now, in a town already experiencing labor tensions, that work may be proving a bit more urgent.
Here’s SAG-AFTRA’s statement:
We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously. We immediately reached out to Ms. Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives in instances like this, as that usually affords the best protection and best resolution for the affected member.
For certain matters, our investigation and enforcement needs to happen independently and we are prepared to handle this issue accordingly, as warranted.
Our enforcement action is usually handled confidentially to protect the member involved, and we typically do not publicize these matters unless the member requests that we do so.
While we have taken steps to investigate this matter, we have nothing to report now.
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