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Entertainment NBC Launching Investigation Into America's Got Talent After '5-Hour' Meeting with Gabrielle Union

11:50  05 december  2019
11:50  05 december  2019 Source:   people.com

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Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell posing for the camera: NBC Launching Investigation Into AGT After Gabrielle Union Shared Her 'Unfiltered Truth' During '5-Hour' Meeting © Provided by Meredith Corporation NBC Launching Investigation Into AGT After Gabrielle Union Shared Her 'Unfiltered Truth' During '5-Hour' Meeting

NBC will further investigate America’s Got Talent after recently meeting with ousted judge Gabrielle Union.

“The initial conversation was candid and productive,” an NBC spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday about their sit-down with Union.

“While there will be a further investigation to get a deeper understanding of the facts, we are working with Gabrielle to come to a positive resolution,” said the spokesperson.

The investigation is being launched after Union sat down with NBC and America’s Got Talent production company.

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Union, 47, revealed on Twitter Wednesday that she met with the television broadcasting company and expressed her “hope for real change.”

“We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday. I was able to again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change,” Union wrote.

Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell sitting at a table: Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell | Trae Patton/NBC © Trae Patton/NBC Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell | Trae Patton/NBC

A source previously confirmed to PEOPLE that a meeting between Union, NBC and AGT production company was happening this week.

The meeting came amid growing public outrage that Union and her fellow judge Julianne Hough‘s exits from the show were reportedly the result of a toxic workplace culture at the network’s talent competition series, which is produced by Fremantle and Syco Entertainment, show creator Simon Cowell‘s company.

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News broke on Nov. 22 that Hough and Union — who joined the season 14 AGT judging panel in February, replacing spots vacated by Mel B and Heidi Klumwould not be returning for the show’s 15th season. (It has yet to be announced who will replace them.)

On Nov. 26, a report by Variety claimed that while working on the show, Union had expressed concerns over racially insensitive situations during her time as a judge, including a joke allegedly made by guest judge Jay Leno that was later edited out of the episode.

Hough, 31, and Union were also both subject to “excessive notes” on their physical appearance, sources alleged in Variety‘s report, noting that Union was allegedly told that her ever-changing hairstyles were “too black” for the show’s audience, while Hough reportedly received constant criticism on her hair, makeup and wardrobe.

In a statement to the publication at the time, Hough — who is set to star in two upcoming NBC Christmas specials — denied that she had a negative experience on the show and said she was “happy to continue my working relationship with NBC.”

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Hough told People Now this week that she believes “everybody has a voice and should be heard,” adding, “I believe that the paradigm of the workplace and how you do business and work with people now, it’s shifting, and I think that the people that really want to see change happen are going to authentically and positively do that.”

Gabrielle Union, Simon Cowell posing for the camera: Gabrielle Union and Simon Cowell | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Tibrina Hobson/WireImage © Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Tibrina Hobson/WireImage Gabrielle Union and Simon Cowell | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

A spokesperson for NBC and production company Fremantle responded to the allegations in Variety‘s report in a Nov. 26 statement to PEOPLE, saying, “America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show. The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”

On Dec. 1, NBC, Fremantle and Syco Entertainment released the following joint statement: “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.”

Union has not yet issued an official statement directly addressing the allegations.

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