Eva Longoria Joins The Chorus Of Celebrities Standing Up With Gabrielle Union Against ‘AGT’
Eva Longoria joined the rallying call to demand NBC address its toxic workplace culture for women after Gabrielle Union shared her experience on set and her firing from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Since AGT announced that Union would be leaving the show, the truth of the circumstances surrounding Union’s firing has come out and people are upset with the network. Union allegedly went to HR for a racist joke that was later edited out of Jay Leno’s act and was repeatedly told that her hairstyles were “too black,” according to a report by Variety. Now, Union has an advocate in Eva Longoria, who shared a Time’s Up petition to her 7.7 million Twitter followers Monday to demand that NBCUniversal “take concrete steps to foster a safe and equitable workplace.”
“What @gabunion experienced on set at @NBC’s #AmericasGotTalent is unacceptable,” Longoria also wrote on Instagram. Longoria is blasting NBCUniversal on all platforms to encourage fans to demand that the network begin dismantling the imbalance of power between genders.
Time’s Up, the organization birthed by the #MeToo movement, is using its platform to petition NBCUniversal, and Longoria wants you to know about it.
“It’s time for @NBCUniversal to commit to long-term, concrete action to fix its toxic workplace culture and ensure safety and equity for all its workers. Add your name through @timesupnow Instagram story. #TimeUp on the imbalance of power. ✊????,” Longoria continued on Instagram. Longoria also publicly thanked Union on Twitter, posting, “Thank you @itsgabrielleu for speaking up about the toxic culture at @NBC‘s #AmericasGotTalent. It’s time for NBC to take these allegations seriously. Join me & @TIMESUPNOW in calling for accountability & concrete action from @NBCUniversal leadership.”
Time’s Up alleges that NBC retaliated against Union for speaking out against racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
AGT is filmed in front of a live audience, but by the time its millions of American fans watch it on their television screens, it has been highly edited, including for the racist material that was allowed to be performed in front of the live audience. An insider told Variety that Jay Leno made a joke about a painting of Simon Cowell surrounded by his dogs on display in the executive producer’s hallway. According to four witnesses present for the taping made in front of the judges, including Union, Leno joked that “the dogs looked like something one would find ‘on the menu at a Korean restaurant,'” Variety reported. Several employees felt the joke was racist and only sought to perpetuate stereotypes that don’t actually exist at Asian-American restaurants, the outlet said. Union sought to bring the joke to the attention of Human Resources, as one might do at many other professional companies, but Variety’s whistleblowers said that it never made it to HR, though her concerns did allow for the joke to be censored in the final episode, aired on August 6.
Union’s hairstyles were also reportedly criticized as “too black.”
Later, a white man tried to portray Beyoncé, but his hands were guised to look black, the insiders told the entertainment outlet. Union continuously asked producers to remove him from the stage, but they allowed him to give his performance to the live audience and removed the audition from the edited version. Union was also personally subjected to excessive notes on her physical appearance, specifically that her hairstyles were “too black” for their audience, something that Variety’s four inside sources said she was criticized for at least half a dozen times. News of the discrimination has prompted a #BlackHairChallenge viral hashtag in support of Union.
Longoria’s fans are taking it a step further and calling for a boycott of NBC.
“People need to boycott the network. When it hurts their bottom line, they will change,” commented one fan. Change is already happening, thanks to the press generated from the likes of Longoria and those who signed the Time’s Up petition, which “applauds Union for her courage and once again calls on NBC to take these allegations seriously and take concrete steps to foster a safe and equitable workplace.” Already, NBC and its production companies have released a joint statement to PEOPLE to confirm they 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.”
“So many tears, so much gratitude,” Union tweeted, the day after Variety’s report came out. “THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”
READ: Ariana Grande And Ellen Pompeo Break Their Silence Over Gabrielle Union’s Firing From ‘America’s Got Talent’
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