Gabrielle Union Accuses NBC Boss of Trying to 'Silence and Intimidate' Her Amid 'AGT' Row

The former judge of 'America's Got Talent' has hired a top lawyer as she's preparing to launch a lawsuit against 'AGT' producers following 'toxic' workplace allegations.

AceShowbiz - Gabrielle Union has filed a complaint against Simon Cowell and his Syco Entertainment partners over her dismissal from "America's Got Talent".

The actress exited the show after just one season at the end of 2019 and maintains her departure came as a result of complaints she made about the "toxic" working environment behind the scenes, referencing harassment, inappropriate behaviour and misogynistic conduct.

Union sat down with the TV show's bosses at the end of last year 2019 to outline her issues and the producers carried out an independent investigation into her claims. Last week, as the 2020 season of "AGT" began, they pledged to improve reporting processes behind the scenes thanks to Union's complaints about diversity off-camera.

NBC, Fremantle and Syco officials issued a joint statement about the results from the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the firing of the former judge and concluded 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."

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

Now Union has responded with her intent to sue Cowell, Syco, Freemantle Productions North America, and Universal TV by filing a harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaint with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

As part of the document, obtained by Deadline, she claims NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy directly intervened in the investigation, sparked by her complaints, to "silence and intimidate" her.

Tough Hollywood lawyer Bryan Freedman, who previously helped Megyn Kelly win a multi-million dollar payout from NBC following her 2018 exit from the network, has signed on to represent the actress.

He writes, "On or about February 4, 2020, Telegdy threatened Union through her agent and warned Union's agent that Union had better cease from pursuing her claims of racism while filming AGT. Union's agent was shocked that the Chairman of NBC Entertainment was attempting to threaten and intimidate Union. Union's agent could not recall another instance in his career when a senior executive at a network had threatened and intimidated an employee during an ongoing workplace investigation..."

"It thus became clear to Union that Telegdy was not merely attempting to silence Union in the media, but attempting to silence Union from making any further comments to the investigator."

Speaking to Deadline on Thursday, June 4, 2020, Freeman said, "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."

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