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The America’s Got Talent investigation has effectively wrapped.
Following former host Gabrielle Union’s accusations that she experienced racial insensitivity and a toxic culture on the NBC competition series, a joint investigation by the network, producers Fremantle and Simon Cowell’s Syco has found that the show “demonstrated an overall culture of diversity,” though it did discover “some areas in which reporting processes could be improved.” (Read the lengthy full statement, below.)
In December, after meeting with Union, the network launched an investigation into her complaints of racial insensitivity and toxic culture before she was let go after a one-season tenure on AGT.
Union was not the only panelist departure from AGT. The series also parted ways with Julianne Hough after the most recent season, leaving two vacant slots alongside Cowell and Howie Mandel. Modern Family grad Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum were hired to fill the voids created by Union and Hough’s departures.
Here’s the full joint statement from NBC, Fremantle and Syco:
We have a shared passion to make America’s Got Talent a positive, inclusive and diverse show that is open to all individuals from any country or background. We are proud and grateful that our contestants and audiences support our ongoing mission, which is represented in the incredible people who participate in the show each year. We have heard from contestants and talent alike that their experience on AGT has had a positive impact on their lives. When we heard Ms. Union had concerns about her time on the show, we took them extremely seriously.
NBC, Fremantle and Syco immediately engaged an outside investigator, who conducted more than 30 interviews to review the issues raised by Ms. Union. While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved.
Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union’s appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time. The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract.
NBC, Fremantle and Syco share Ms. Union’s dedication to diversity and inclusion in the industry. We continue to remain committed to having an inclusive environment for everyone associated with the show, and to upholding AGT as one of the most diverse programs on television.
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