Gabrielle Union’s husband Dwyane Wade says his family was put under SURVEILLANCE after she filed harassment complaint against Simon Cowell and NBC amid America’s Got Talent rift
- The star’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, leveled new complaints on Thursday
- He said NBC entertainment chair Paul Telegdy tried to stop his client ‘from telling the truth about racist actions that took place’ on America’s Got Talent
- Union has now filed a harassment complaint against Cowell, NBC Universal, production companies FremantleMedia and SyCo, which owned by Cowell
- In May former judge Union, 47, broke her silence on being axed from the show
- The reality show has previously denied many of Union’s claims
- Wade said his ‘house started being watched’ amid negotiations and claimed his ‘family started being followed’
- NBC denied making any threats and said an outside investigator determined the show was run professionally
Dwyane Wade says his family wound up under surveillance amid his talks between his wife Gabrielle Union and NBC after she publicly said she experienced harassment, racism and retribution during her stint on the network’s America’s Got Talent.
‘My house started being watched and my family started being followed,’ the 13-time NBA All-Star said in a series of tweets Thursday, on the heels of Union filing a harassment complaint against NBC and Simon Cowell.
In her complaint to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Union, 47, said network entertainment chair Paul Telegdy tried to stop her ‘from telling the truth about racist actions that took place’ on the network variety program.
New details: Dwyane Wade says his family wound up under surveillance amid his talks between his wife Gabrielle Union and NBC after she publicly said she experienced harassment, racism and retribution during her stint on the network’s America’s Got Talent
Wade, who played the majority of his career for the Miami Heat, ripped those who doubted his wife’s claims in the dispute with the network.
‘Y’all have deemed her a liar after months of trying to inform y’all of the issues in the work place and also make sure other employees of color that comes after her won’t have the same experiences,’ Wade said. ‘Instead of looking thru the lens of someone who has been an advocate for the black and brown community, for women and for rape victims.’
He continued: ‘So instead of making sure your work environment is a a better place for everyone. Y’all have decided that she what? Made it all up because she lost a job? She’s a black women in Hollywood she has lost out on many jobs.’
Wade spoke out on a day demonstrations against racism continued nationwide less than two weeks after the death of security guard George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.
Speaking out: The NBA alum explained his take on the situation in a series of tweets
‘When these negotiations started my house started being watched and my family started being followed. My daughter couldn’t even go to swim class without us being trailed by people looking for answers,’ Wade wrote on the social networking site. ‘Well y’all have the answers and y’all still don’t wanna listen to them.’
Late Thursday, NBC issued a statement distancing themselves from any threats being made, Deadline reported.
Said the network: ‘The allegation that anyone involved in this process threatened Ms. Union is categorically untrue.’
NBC said it ‘took Ms. Union‘s concerns seriously, and engaged an outside investigator who found an overarching culture of diversity on the show.’
The company said it ‘remains committed to creating an inclusive and supportive working environment where people of all backgrounds are treated with respect.’
Union filed a harassment complaint against NBC and Simon Cowell Thursday, after claiming a network chairman tried to silence her reports of racism.
Gabrielle Union’s lawyer alleges that star was threatened by NBC Chairman in attempt to silence her over complaints of racism on America’s Got Talent
Gabrielle Union filed a harassment complaint against NBC and Simon Cowell, left, Thursday, after claiming a network chairman tried to silence her reports of racism. The star’s attorney said entertainment chair Paul Telegdy, right, tried to stop her ‘from telling the truth about racist actions that took place’ on America’s Got Talent
The star’s attorney said entertainment chair Paul Telegdy tried to stop her ‘from telling the truth about racist actions that took place’ on America’s Got Talent.
‘When Gabrielle Union informed NBC of racially offensive conduct during the taping of America’s Got Talent, NBC did not “stand” with her in “outrage at acts of racism.”‘ lawyer Bryan Freedman began in a statement posted Thursday on Twitter.
In May former judge Union, 47, broke her silence on being axed from the talent show last year. She told Variety she was compelled to report racist jokes cracked by guest judge Jay Leno – but when she spoke up, she was cut from the show.
Union has now filed a complaint against NBC Universal, Simon Cowell and production companies FremantleMedia and SyCo, which is owned by Cowell.
The harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaint was filed Thursday with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing and could pave the way for a lawsuit. DailyMail.com has contacted NBC and Cowell for comment.
The reality show has previously denied many of Union’s claims, with a statement claiming an investigation found the show ‘demonstrated an overall culture of diversity’.
But Freedman’s statement continued: ‘Instead, NBC did not care enough to either promptly investigate Ms. Union’s complaints or even ask HR to get involved.
‘Rather, NBC stood against her and directed its “outrage” at Ms. Union for whistleblowing about the racially offensive conduct she experienced while working for NBC on America’s Got Talent.
Actress and producer Union was offered a seat on the coveted judge panel of AGT in the spring of 2019. She is pictured alongside Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell
Last month, Union, 47, broke her silence on being axed from America’s Got Talent last year in an interview with Variety
‘In sharp contrast to NBC’s recent statement on race, what was truly an “outrage” was the fact that Paul Telegdy, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, actually threatened Ms. Union in an attempt to silence her from telling the truth about racist actions that took place on the show.’
‘I want to make further amends with Black women’: Terry Crews issues second apology to Gabrielle Union
Terry Crews apologized to Gabrielle Union in a tweet Thursday
Terry Crews has again apologized to Gabrielle Union.
The AGT host had said sorry to Union in January for invalidating her experiences of racism and sexism on set.
He tweeted again Thursday to say: ‘I also see that I am privileged as man, in a society that also has sexism built in. This privilege carries over into my community as a Black man in relationship with Black women.
‘It is in this light I want to make further amends with Black women, and in particular @itsgabrielleu for not recognizing the privilege I have – especially in the workplace- and adding this fact to my earlier apology.’
Tweeting at Union in January he wrote: ‘I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience— but that is what I did.’
‘I apologize. You have been through a lot in this business,’ he added. ‘With that I empathize with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace.
Crews, who remains a host on the show, faced backlash on social media, for defending AGT as ‘the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.’
He also said ‘ I can’t speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience.’
Union quickly took to Twitter to share her feelings on the comments, without directly mentioning Crews.
‘Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn’t lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth.’
‘There is no place for this type of racial bullying in the workplace, and it is going to take more than a Tweet from NBC to demonstrate that NBC intends to create an environment free from racism.’
His complaint comes after NBC Entertainment tweeted to say they ‘stand in outrage at acts of racism’ as demonstrations continue across the U.S. to condemn racism and police abuses.
Protests followed the death of black man George Floyd after a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Actress and producer Union was offered a seat on the coveted judge panel of AGT in the spring of 2019.
‘I signed up for the experience of being a part of a show that hails itself as the biggest stage in the world.
‘Super diverse, and one about giving people an opportunity to shine where they otherwise probably wouldn’t. What could go wrong?’ Union told Variety.
Bosses insisted her complaints had nothing to do with the decision to cut her from the show.
But Union says her problems began on day one when she found series creator Simon Cowell smoking on set. Union, who has been allergic to cigarette smoke since she was a little girl, fell ill.
‘I couldn’t escape. I ended up staying sick for two months straight. It was a cold that lingered, and turned into bronchitis, because I couldn’t shake it. It impacted my voice, which affects my ability to do my job,’ Union said.
Union revealed bringing up Cowell’s smoke to producers was a dire choice for her.
‘Coming onto a set and you are literally met with the very definition of a toxic work environment, and it’s being carried out by the most powerful person on the production,’ she told Variety.
Producers told her there had been complaints about his smoking in the past but effectively, nothing would change.
After her complaint Cowell claims he changed his smoking habits and the issue wasn’t raised again. He said he didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and as soon as he learned of her concerns he smoked outdoors.
However a source familiar with the investigation told Variety that while the matter was addressed, they couldn’t say Cowell had entirely stopped smoking indoors.
Weeks later guest judge Jay Leno was on the show and cracked a joke that Cowell’s pet dogs looked like food items found on a menu at a Korean restaurant, peddling the stereotype that Asian people eat dog meat.
‘My first big interview in this industry, the first person who allowed me to come on their talk show, was Jay Leno. I’ve always held him in high regard, but I was not prepared for his joke,’ Union said.
‘I gasped. I froze. Other things had already happened, but at this point, it was so wildly racist,’ she added.
Producers reportedly said they would edit his comment out.
‘You cannot edit out what we just experienced. There is not an edit button in my brain or in my soul. To experience this kind of racism at my job and there be nothing done about it, no discipline, no company-wide email, no reminder of what is appropriate in the workplace?’ she said.
In May former judge Union, 47, broke her silence on being axed from the talent show last year. She told Variety she was compelled to report racist jokes cracked by guest judge Jay Leno, center with the judges – but when she spoke up, she was cut from the show
Union said that AGT’s set was culturally and racially insensitive.
She has previously alleged that production staff also told her that her hairstyle and clothes were ‘too black’.
Union also said the show was ill-equipped to give all contestants equal attention to the hair and makeup chair, which she points out is a recurring problem for minorities.
‘Some contestants get the full Hollywood treatment and then some are left to dangle,’ she said. She said Hollywood sets who fail to hire diverse departments to meet the needs of all backgrounds creates ‘an unequal and discriminatory experience.’
AGT insisted their investigation found that ‘no one associated with the show made insensitive or derogatory remarks’ about her appearance. They added that race or gender were never factors considered when eliminating contestants.
Union also said she was concerned when a white male contestant was allowed to audition with ‘black gloves to [represent] a black performer’. The act was flagged as problematic before his performance but he was still allowed to perform for the judges and an audience, Union told Variety.
Show bosses say the performer was originally planning on performing a different song by white rapper Eminem, and the wearing of black gloves was related to that.
Gabrielle Union pictured with husband Dwyane Wade in February
Union also hit out at the hiring of judge Julianne Hough – who came under fire in 2013 for wearing black face at a Halloween party trying to be African American actor Uzo Aduba from the show Orange is the New Black.
‘I’m a part of a show that hired one of my co-workers who had an unfortunate incident doing blackface,’ Union said.
‘I’d like to trust her at her word that she learned her lesson, and has educated herself amid the consequences she faced and is hopefully a better person. But you would think that perhaps the show and NBC might be more conscientious in exposing that, and it would be taken seriously. I took it seriously,’ she added.
AGT insisted their investigation found that ‘no one associated with the show made insensitive or derogatory remarks’ about Union’s appearance. They added that race or gender were never factors considered when eliminating contestants
Union says her problems began on day one when she found series creator Cowell smoking on set. Union, who has been allergic to cigarette smoke since she was a little girl, fell ill
She noted that the show did not have a standing policy of using contestants’ preferred pronouns.
That touches a personal note for Union and her husband NBA star Dwyane Wade whose 12-year-old child is transgender and identifies as a female named Zaya.
In response to the story, NBC, Fremantle and Syco, which produce America’s Got Talent, released a statement saying they took Union’s concerns seriously and launched an outside investigation with more than 30 interviews.
‘While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved,’ they said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
They added: ‘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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