NBC arrogantly refuses to clean up its act, and now it has another major #MeToo problem on its hands with Gabrielle Union.
Union claims she was fired from Simon Cowell’s America’s Got Talent for being “difficult” during her one season, the 14th, on the show.
“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,” Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen told the far-left Variety.
According to People, what Union witnessed was a joked told by Jay Leno, a guest judge, who said a photo of Cowell and his dogs is something you might see on the menu of a Korean restaurant.
“In another instance,” People reports, “Union found herself again speaking up against racial insensitivity when a white male contestant auditioned with an act where he portrayed people of color and impersonated singers through multiple quick costume changes.”
Union claims the contestant blackened his hands.
Leno’s joke and the offending contestant were both cut from the show. Union was reportedly still unhappy because she wanted the matter taken to Human Resources.
So far, NBC is refusing to comment, but America’s Got Talent producers Fremantle and Cowell’s Syco did release a statement. It said:
We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture. We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.
There are some reports NBC is “gathering information” on the growing debacle, which is absolutely meaningless consider the network’s sordid history of protecting powerful men accused of terrible things and their powerful enablers.
In this case, the powerful man NBC would want to protect is Cowell, who has not been personally accused of anything, but America’s Got Talent is his fiefdom, a money machine for the network.
Howard Stern, who served as a judge for four years on the show, ripped into Cowell: “How is it that Simon Cowell has orchestrated this?” Stern said on his radio show last week. “He sets it up that the men stay, no matter how ugly they are, no matter how old they are, no matter how fat they are, no matter how talentless they are.”
“But what he manages to do on all his shows is he constantly replaces the hot chicks with hotter chicks and younger chicks. Which is so obvious,” Stern added.
Let’s be honest, though, knowing what we know so far, and with the understanding more serious issues might not yet be revealed, Union sounds like a real snowflake and a genuine pain in the ass. Producing a television show is difficult enough without someone creating problems where none exist. There are also reports Union was upset Cowell smoked in the studio and the notes she received about her on-camera appearance.
Gimme a break.
But who doesn’t deserve a break is NBC, an arrogant network that is opening itself up to this stuff after it refused to take any action regarding the credible allegations surrounding Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein.
In the case of Weinstein, NBC is credibly accused of killing one of the biggest stories of that year, a consequential story that kicked off the #MeToo movement. The cover up allegations regarding massive conflicts of interest, reach the very top of NBC News, and yet nothing has been done.
The Matt Lauer cover up allegations are just as troubling and sordid, and again reach the very top.
Nevertheless, so far, NBC has fired no one in authority and arrogantly refuses to hire outside counsel to come in and investigated the claims. Fox News has twice brought in an outside investigator over sexual misconduct allegations. All NBC has done is investigate and clear itself, which is exactly the kind of behavior one expects from a fake news outlet.