AGT Airs Statement 'in Outrage over Racism and Injustice' amid George Floyd Protests



Union said she felt compelled to speak out in an attempt to create a more inclusive Hollywood.

"If I can't speak out with the privilege that I have, and the benefits that my husband and I have, what is the point of making it?" she told Variety. "What is the point of having a seat at the table and protecting your privilege when you're not doing s— to help other people?"

Union and Hough's exits from the show launched an internal investigation of NBC and production companies Fremantle and Syco Entertainment. In a statement to PEOPLE last week, Fremantle, Syco and NBC said they took Union's concerns "extremely seriously" and "engaged an outside investigator who conducted more than 30 interviews to review the issues raised by Ms. Union."

"While the investigation has demonstrated an overall culture of diversity, it has also highlighted some areas in which reporting processes could be improved," the statement continued.

The statement also denied Variety's reporting that Union's rotating hairstyles were labeled by production as "too black" for mass audiences.

"Through the investigation process, it has been revealed that no one associated with the show made any insensitive or derogatory remarks about Ms. Union's appearance, and that neither race nor gender was a contributing factor in the advancement or elimination of contestants at any time. The investigation has shown that the concerns raised by Ms. Union had no bearing on the decision not to exercise the option on her contract."

"NBC, Fremantle and Syco share Ms. Union's dedication to diversity and inclusion in the industry," the statement concluded. "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."

America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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