AGT Controversy: Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough Speak Out

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Auditions 2" Episode 1402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — Pictured: (l-r) Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

On Tuesday, Gabrielle Union spoke out on her issues with America’s Got Talent. The show fired her and fellow judge Julianne Hough, despite the newbie judges initially signing three year contracts. In particular, Gabrielle was deemed difficult to work with after she brought numerous issues up with NBC brass, including insensitive jokes from guest judge Jay Leno, constant criticisms from producers regarding her hair and wardrobe, Simon Cowell smoking indoors and racist overtones informing which constants stayed and which went home.

When rumors surfaced that Gabrielle was exploring her legal options, lo and behold, NBC and producers reached out to Gabrielle for a meeting, reporting that the session had been productive.

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

After the controversy broke, Julianne released a statement declaring that she enjoyed her season on America’s Got Talent and that she valued her current relationship with NBC. Notably, she and her brother Derek Hough filmed a Christmas special that’s scheduled to air on the network.

“I had a wonderful time on America’s Got Talent,” Julianne told Variety in a statement, “I loved working with the cast, crew and producers. I am happy to continue my working relationship with NBC,”

Now, Julianne has spoken up in support of Gabrielle. She told Access Hollywood that she supports open and “respectful” dialogue.

“That’s really exciting,” she said of the meeting.”I think that’s such an important step that two people — or multiple people — can come together and create change or whatever it may be,” she told Access. “And that there is a dialogue and a narrative that is respectful and integral. That’s amazing and I hope that we can see that that is a great step.”

However, Julianne has not spoken to Gabrielle, she told the Today show.

“I have reached out. I think we both have been very busy … hopefully when I get back to L.A. later this afternoon, we can have a conversation,” she said.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!