Gabrielle Union recently settled with NBC after getting ousted as a judge on America’s Got Talent, and sharing her concerns over what she saw as a toxic and racist workplace. In a new cover story with Marie Claire, Union opens up about her battle.
The 47-year-old told the magazine of her disappointment over the blowback she received from producers about her appearance: “I should be able to exist however the f–k I want to exist. Because if you’re hiring Gabrielle Union for my talent, then my talent is going to come out of my body in every way, shape, and incarnation that I can imagine. You’re getting more bang for your buck the more you allow me to exist as I see fit.”
Union said she was upset, but not surprised, when other NBC Black talent, like Al Roker and Terry Crews, failed to publicly support her. Union said: “These racist institutions and systems have done an amazing job at keeping us very fearful of speaking up, asking for equality, and asking for accountability because they have shown us time and time again that we are disposable. They will discredit and malign you, and you will never work again… Being blackballed in this industry is very real.”
She also addressed critics who said she was taking her accusations too far: “You are not going to gaslight me into minimizing my trauma, which is exactly what allows this to continue on for the next person.”
An undisclosed settlement was reached last month between Union and NBC. “NBC Entertainment appreciates the important concerns raised by Gabrielle Union and remains committed to ensuring an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds can be treated with respect,” said at the time.