Time’s Up has weighed in on the much-talked-about and controversial dismissal of Gabrielle Union from NBC’s America’s Got Talent after she called out incidents of workplace toxicity she encountered and witnessed while she was a judge on the reality competition series.
“Gabrielle Union’s experience at America’s Got Talent is exemplary of the double bind that black women face at work,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up Now in a statement. “Not only did Union reportedly endure and witness racist and inappropriate behavior – including racially-insensitive comments and excessive criticism about her physical appearance – but it also appears she was punished for speaking out: the company labeled her as ‘difficult’ before ousting her from the show altogether.”
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“Union’s story is deeply troubling on its own, but her experience is particularly problematic because it follows a pattern of NBCUniversal protecting the careers of powerful men at the expense of women who speak out,” she continued. “Union’s experience shows that NBCUniversal still has a lot of work to do to change its culture so discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are no longer tolerated at the company. Building a culture of safety and equity requires continuous, intentional work sustained over a long period of time – even when a company isn’t in the throes of a crisis.”
Tchen concluded: “Ensuring people of all kinds are respected and supported at work is critical for any company, but especially a media company like NBC that has such an outsized influence in our culture and in our lives.”
Time’s Up’s statement comes after Union’s whirlwind of a journey in regards to her exit from the show. Last Friday, NBCUniversal released a statement saying they are “committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees” and that they are working with Union to “hear more about her concerns.” Union has since responded in her own way, endorsing a “solid apology” from NBCUniversal.On Sunday, the plot thickened as SAG-AFTRA has entered the conversation and is looking to investigate NBC in regards to Union’s exit.
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