Gabrielle Union Left ‘AGT’ After Criticism for ‘Too Black’ Hairstyles

Gabrielle Union at the "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Live Show Red Carpet at the Dolby Theater on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean Nelson

New details are emerging about Gabrielle Union’s exit from America’s Got Talent.

As previously reported last week, the actress and fellow AGT judge Julianne Hough left the NBC competition series after just one season.

Now a Tuesday report in Variety alleges Union and Hough were fired after receiving “excessive notes on their physical appearance.”

The publication quoted four unnamed sources who said the actresses were warned about their hair, makeup and wardrobe choices. The article said Union was told “over half a dozen times” that her changing hairstyles were “too black” for the AGT audience.

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Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union on America's Got Talent. (Credit: NBC)
Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough on “America’s Got Talent.” (Credit: NBC)

Union has yet to respond to the report, although Hough issued a statement saying she had a “wonderful time” on the show.

AGT producers responded with a statement saying diversity on the show is important.

“America’s Got Talent has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show,” NBC and production company Fremantle said in a joint statement. “The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”

Last week the website LoveBScott alleged that Union was let go for speaking up about the “toxic” culture at AGT, including racism and sexism. While she and Hough were popular with fans and helped increase the show’s social media engagement, the site said producers decided not to bring them back.

The two were brought in earlier this year to replace longtime judges Melanie Brown of Spice Girls fame and supermodel Heidi Klum.

AGT judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel and host Terry Crews are all expected to return for season 15 in 2020. Cowell co-created America’s Got Talent and also serves as a producer.

Union currently co-stars with Jessica Alba and is a producer on L.A.’s Finest, a spinoff of the Bad Boys film franchise.

Actress and former Dancing With the Stars pro Hough has a role in Netflix’s original series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, which is based on classic songs from the country music legend.

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