Cape Town - US television network NBC may have fired Gabrielle Union from America’s Got Talent (AGT) but it certainly hasn’t silenced her – or the many supporters coming to her defence.
And now Metro reports that the Bring It On actress is seeking legal action against AGT executive producer Simon’s company Syco, which co-produces the show, with an insider alleging she’s in talks with Simon’s representatives as well as NBC.
“She's in discussions with Simon's people and NBC, but she isn't prepared to back down. This isn't going away,” the source says.
“Gabrielle kept complaining about Simon's total autonomy on set. She was shocked when she was told that her hair and wardrobe was ‘too black’ and she immediately tried to lodge a complaint, but there wasn’t a place to go.”
The star is alleged to have had problems with his smoking indoors, his “acerbic behaviour” and his “over lording” on the set of the show.
“There were no other channels to go through to make a complaint about conditions.”
Instead of heeding her concerns, producers allegedly dismissed them and retaliated by terminating Union’s contract.
“Gabrielle is powerful and wealthy in her own right. She's not interested in a settlement or having this swept under the rug,” the insider adds.
“This is her #MeToo moment and she's doing this because she genuinely wants to change an outdated system and wants to make it better for the women who come after her.”
NBC has since responded with a statement claiming that AGT, “has a long history of inclusivity and diversity in both our talent and the acts championed by the show”.
“The judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years and that’s one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity."
Although Simon (60) has remained tight-lipped regarding the allegations, he’s reportedly lawyering up as the LA's Finest star threatens legal action.
The Daily Mail claims he’s hired heavyweight Hollywood litigator Larry Stein, who’s expected to fight the case against Syco.
The same day NBC released its statement, the Hollywood actors union Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced its own plans to investigate what went down behind the scenes at the reality series.
“We take issues of workplace health and safety very seriously,” the organisation said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We immediately reached out to Ms Union’s representatives when these reports came to light. It is our practice to work closely with members who reach out to us and their representatives.”