Julianne Hough is breaking her silence on her and Gabrielle Union’s sudden departures from America’s Got Talent. In an appearance on Today‘s third hour Thursday, Hough did not respond directly when asked by host Craig Melvin what her own experience was as a judge on NBC’s hit summer competition series.
“I commend Gabrielle for speaking her truth and starting a conversation,” said the Dancing With The Stars judge, who is set to star with her brother Derek in two NBC Christmas specials. “I’m also really proud of NBC as well for showing up and starting a narrative, and that’s what’s going to change the workplace and the paradigm that we’ve been working in for many, many years, and it’s shifting, and I think that’s really, really exciting.”
Hough’s comments refer to a sit-down Wednesday between NBC and Union to address her departure and to look at ways to improve the culture and atmosphere on the show. Both sides called the meeting “candid and productive.”
Hough added that, “Life is crazy and sometimes you can’t control things, and when obstacles come your way you have to be graceful about it and have integrity. I think that people with authenticity and integrity will create change.”
Hough said she hasn’t spoken to Union since they left the show.
“I have reached out. I think we both have been very busy,” she said. “Hopefully, when I get back to LA later this afternoon we can have a conversation.”
It was revealed on November 22 that Hough and Union, who had been with AGT for one season, would not be returning for the show’s 15th season. Reports later emerged that their departures were the result of a toxic workplace culture on the long-running competition series.